Modulation of taste affect by hunger, caloric satiety, and sensory-specific satiety in the rat

Appetite. 1991 Apr;16(2):103-20. doi: 10.1016/0195-6663(91)90036-r.


Human judgements of the pleasure of sweetness have been reported to be modulated by caloric hunger, satiety, and sensory-specific satiety. This study examined both hedonic and aversive facial/somatic reactions to taste in the rat, in order to confirm the relation of hunger and satiety to taste affect, and to assess whether affective modulation depends upon the cognitive factors that mediate human self-interpretation of affect. In the first experiment, the affective reactions of rats to sweet, bittersweet, and water tastes were assessed in five states of caloric hunger or satiety. Caloric satiety reduced positive hedonic reactions below normal levels. Conversely, 48-h food deprivation (but not 24-h deprivation) increased hedonic reactivity. Hedonic enhancement by hunger was not restricted to sweet tastes, but also extended to the palatability of water. Only the hedonic reactions to taste were changed by hunger or satiety: taste aversion was not altered. The second experiment compared the magnitude of affective change during sensory-specific satiety and caloric satiety. Taste-reactivity elicited by sucrose solution or milk was assessed after satiating meals of each of those foods. Sensory-specific satiety further reduced hedonic reactions below the level achieved by caloric satiety alone. Both for caloric satiety and for sensory-specific satiety changes in affect were restricted to positive hedonic reactions: no increase in aversion accompanied the hedonic decrements. These results confirm that taste affect is modulated during caloric hunger, caloric satiety, and sensory-specific satiety. In addition they indicate that the modulation of taste affect by hunger and satiety is confined to the positive limb of the two dimensions (hedonic vs. aversive) of palatability.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Hunger / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Satiation / physiology*
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Videotape Recording