Olfactory conditioning facilitates diet transition in human infants.

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We evaluated whether Pavlovian conditioning methods could be used to increase the ingestion of non-preferred solutions by formula-fed human infants. In baseline measures, 5-7 month old infants sucked less frequently and consumed less water than regular formula. During a 3-day olfactory conditioning period, parents placed a small scented disk, the conditioned stimulus, on the rim of their infants' formula bottle at every feeding. Following this training, infants' responses to water were tested when their water bottles had a disk scented with the training odor, a novel odor, or no odor. Infants tested with the training odor sucked more frequently and consumed significantly more water than they had at baseline. Infants tested with no odor or a novel odor consumed water at or below baseline levels. These data demonstrate that olfactory conditioning can be used to enhance ingestion in infants and suggest that such methods may be useful for infants experiencing difficulty when making transitions from one diet to another.







David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

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My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.


Warren Grimes Hall

Anne W. Deane Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative Neurobiology

W.G. (Ted) Hall. Study of the ontogeny of motivation and learning; their neural basis and behavioral organization, using ingestive behavior and appetitive learning as prototypic systems. Animal and human studies including recent work utilizing functional MRI.

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