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Learning Assignment

1) Introduction- summarize the previous findings that are reported in the introduction. Comment on what conclusion (hypothesis) can be drawn from these studies.

2) Hypothesis- What is the authors' hypothesis? What predictions were they making and why did they make them? What alternative hypotheses were there? Why was this article written and what questions did it try to answer? Why should we care.

3) Method- outline the GENERAL methods the experimenters used to gather their data. What were the strengths and weaknesses of their methodology? What were the independent and dependent variables? Can you think of alternative independent and dependent variables they could have used?

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Solution Preview

1) The goal of the literature review was to examine taste aversion learning. Previous research had looked at taste aversion in a running wheel. Lett and Grant in 1996 discovered that when rats run in a wheel after ingesting a taste solution, the rats developed an aversion to that solution. These results have been duplicated by many researchers in the past using different breeds of rats. The conclusion of these experiments lies in the phenomena that the pairing between running and taste could lead to a taste aversion, similar to Pavlovian conditioning. The taste is the conditioned stimuli, while the running is the unconscious stimuli. Salvy et al. took this theory one step further by reporting that rats who have previous running experience produced a weaker taste aversion. This could be explained by the "pre-exposure effect".

Recently, other activities have been investigated to see if there is the similar Pavlovian learning. One such activity is swimming, which is the focus of this paper. Masaki and Nakajima in 2004 were he first researchers to report on the relationship between swimming and taste aversions. The researchers concluded that that taste and swimming could be paired together to ...