Mini Oral ANZOS-OSSANZ-AOCO Joint Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Variety and cue-potentiated feeding (#196)

Michael D Kendig 1 , Robert A Boakes 1 , Laura H Corbit 1
  1. University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Modern environments contain easy access to highly palatable foods that are advertised by salient cues reminding us of their availability. Instances where food cues successfully stimulate consumption – often despite satiety – are referred to as cue-potentiated feeding (CPF). Characterising when and how CPF occurs is critical to understand whether the effect contributes meaningfully to overeating and obesity. Studies of CPF in humans and rats suggest the effect is specific: food cues enhance consumption only of the food they have previously signalled. To explore this result further, the present experiments trained adult female rats to associate a distinct ‘Plus’ context with palatable food and another ‘Minus’ context with no food. Experiment 1 showed that the Plus context enhanced intake of the paired food but not a palatable alternative, consistent with previous studies. Experiment 2 assessed the effects of variety on CPF by comparing three groups that received either three palatable foods (Variety group), or the same palatable (Single group) or bland food (Chow group) in the Plus context during training. When testing alternative palatable foods never previously presented in the contexts, the Variety group ate significantly more in the Plus than in the Minus context. By contrast, consumption was comparable across contexts for Single and Chow groups. In modern environments that are characterised by a diverse variety of foods, the present results indicate CPF may occur more widely than previously thought.