The acquisition of an appetite.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Unlike older animals, weanling-age rats do not seek water to drink when they are dehydrated, despite the fact that a physiological sensitivity to dehydration is present very soon after birth. We demonstrate here that the appetitive behaviors needed to approach and obtain water become linked to dehydration only as a result of specific postnatal learning experience. Preventing early experience with dehydration retards the developmental emergence of dehydration-induced, water-oriented behavior in young rats. But a single pairing of water with dehydration can establish an appetitive response. These findings reveal a critical role of early learning in the development of goal-oriented behavior. Such a learning process is potentially characteristic of other behavioral systems, from the most basic appetites to complex motives.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hall, WG; Arnold, HM; Myers, KP

Published Date

  • March 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 101 - 105

PubMed ID

  • 11273415

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1467-9280.00223


  • eng