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4. Contemporary Research into Taste Aversion
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about some modern taste aversion research, focusing in particular on: (i) recognition that the classical understanding of taste aversion as a special avoidance system in humans is not necessarily the modern view; (ii) evidence that the rapid learning of pairings between food and non-illness negative stimuli is possible, providing the time intervals are longer; (iii) the pairing of contexts and environments (stimuli which last for an extended period of time) resulting in rapid learning; (iv) the effectiveness of pairing lasting pain stimuli with taste, compared to the rapidly diminishing pain associated with a shock; (v) recent research that has demonstrated that both taste and non-taste stimuli paired with illness can elicit taste aversion-like facial reactions.
In this course, Professor Dominic Dwyer (Cardiff University) explores neophobia and taste aversion. In the first lecture, we think about the evolutionary background of feeding, including the reasons behind our preferences and avoidances for particular tastes. In the second lecture, we think about neophobia and its evolutionary function which stops the ingestion of large quantities of potentially unsafe substances. In the third lecture, we think about the classic understanding of taste aversion as a specialised function to enable the rapid learning of taste and illness pairings. Next, we think about some modern research which proposes that rapid learning is enabled more so by the ‘fit’ of the stimulus, in factors such as the length of time the experience lasts. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about the overall evolutionary functions that each of these taste and food related adaptations provide.
Professor Dominic Dwyer is the chair for the BSc and MSc exam boards in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. Professor Dwyer teaches introductory statistics for undergraduate years one and two. Professor Dwyer’s research is primarily focused on how animals and people learn, as well as how that learning is expressed as behaviour. Some key focus areas of this research are computational modelling, neurodegenerative disorders, and the assessment of individual differences. Some of Professor Dwyer’s recent publications include 'EXPRESS: Instrumental responses and Pavlovian stimuli as temporal referents in a peak procedure' (2022) and 'Face masks have emotion-dependent dissociable effects on accuracy and confidence in identifying facial expressions of emotion' (2022).
Cite this Lecture
Dwyer, D. (2022, April 26). Eating Behaviour – Neophobia and Taste Aversion - Contemporary Research into Taste Aversion [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/eating-behaviours-neophobia-and-taste-aversion/contemporary-research-into-taste-aversion
Dwyer, D. "Eating Behaviour – Neophobia and Taste Aversion – Contemporary Research into Taste Aversion." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Apr 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/eating-behaviours-neophobia-and-taste-aversion/contemporary-research-into-taste-aversion