Conditioned Taste Aversion

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Conditioned taste aversion is a form of classical conditioning in which someone has a bad experience with a food and avoids it because of the experience. Even if someone has loved a food for there whole lives, a bad experience can cause conditioned taste aversion.I found this concept very interesting because it applies to me. When I was younger I used to love Taco Bell and eat there all time. After eating there one time, I became very sick from food poisoning. To this day I will still not eat at Taco Bell. Even though the food poisoning came from a Taco Bell in California(where it happened because I lived there), I refuse to eat at any Taco Bell which many psychologists would say is very irrational because the odds of it occurring again are very slim.

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v11/n5/images/nn0508-527-F1.jpg

Conditioned taste aversion is a very unique form of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning usually requires close timing between conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus for learning. One example of this is Baby Albert, who after constant CS and UCS came to fear bunnies. This is not the case for conditioned taste aversion. There is a long gap or lag of time from when the person eats the food and then becomes sick(often hours). Classical conditioning also requires repeated pairings of CS and UCS. However, conditioned taste aversion does not require repeated conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus, it takes only one instance. It takes only one bad experience, which is why it is very odd.

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