Anticipatory contrast as a function of access time and spatial location

Charles F. Flaherty, Patricia S. Grigson, Cynthia Coppotelli, Colin Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Intake of a 0.15% saccharin solution was suppressed when it was followed by a 32% sucrose solution in brief daily pairings. With equal access durations to the two solutions, intervals of intermediate duration (2 or 3 min) produced a larger contrast than more extreme intervals (1 or 10 min). There was no evidence of inhibition of delay with the 10-min interval (Experiments 1A and 1B). When access times were asymmetrical, longer access time to the flint solution reduced contrast, whereas longer access time to the second solution enhanced contrast (Experiment 2). Contrast was greater when the two solutions were presented at consistent and separate spatial locations than when location was changed randomly or when both solutions were presented in sequence at the same location. However, a degree of contrast occurred in all conditions (Experiment 3). Experiment 4, conducted with the solutions in opposite arms of a T-maze, showed that anticipatory approach to the location correlated with the 32% sucrose solution developed prior to lick suppression on the saccharin solution. However, within daily sessions, there was a reliable increase in contrast without correlated changes in anticipatory-approach behavior. Access-time effects were attributed to altered reward values, whereas spatial-separation effects suggest that goal- directed responses contribute to, but do not cause, anticipatory contrast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-81
Number of pages14
JournalAnimal Learning and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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