Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

June 1996


Published in Animal Learning & Behavior 24:2 (1996), pp. 221-229. Copyright 1996 Psychonomic Society, Inc. Used by permission.


Morphine failed to condition a salt taste aversion at a dose (15 mg/kg) sufficient to produce a robust aversion to a saccharin taste. Indeed, three different concentrations of salt (1%, 1.5%, and 2%) paired with the same morphine dose yielded no direct evidence for conditioned aversion. Yet, when a novel saccharin taste was paired in compound with the previously conditioned salt conditioned stimulus, we found evidence for a conditioning to the saccharin cue alone in three separate experiments. Control groups eliminated alternative accounts such as neophobia and differential exposure to morphine. Combined, these findings indicate that morphine conditioned a salt aversion. Although this aversion was not directly expressed, a second-order conditioning procedure was able to provide a more sensitive index of conditioning.