A within-event analysis of taste-potentiated odor and contextual aversions

James S. Miller, D. F. McCoy, Kimberly S. Kelly, M. T. Bardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A series of experiments was conducted to examine the phenomenon of potentiation. Experiment 1 demonstrated potentiation of odor aversions by taste when morphine served as the unconditioned stimulus (US). Experiment 2 provided evidence that the observed potentiation was due to a within-event association between odor and taste stimuli, rather than reflecting an enhanced odor-morphine association. In Experiment 3, morphine supported place conditioning to contextual cues and aversive conditioning to a taste cue, but potentiation of place conditioning by a taste cue was not obtained. Apparently the absence of potentiation was due to the dual nature of the morphine US, as potentiation of a contextual aversion by taste was obtained in Experiment 4 when a strictly aversive US (lithium) was used. These data suggest that potentiation depends on (1) an initially weak association between the to-be-potentiated conditioned stimulus (CS) element and the US, and (2) the elicitation of qualitatively similar responses by the individual elements of the CS compound. Collectively, these results support an explanation of potentiation based on within-event learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Learning and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'A within-event analysis of taste-potentiated odor and contextual aversions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this