Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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Context Properties Modulate Flavor Neophobia Habituation

Lucía Vicente1, and Luis Gonzalo De la Casa2

1 Universidad de Deusto, and
2 Universidad de Sevilla

Background: One issue that has received relatively little attention in the analyses of the neophobic responses to a novel flavor is the influence of the context in which the flavor is first encountered, along with the effect of this context on the habituation of neophobia when the flavor is repeatedly consumed. Considering the predictions of the Contextual Safety Hypothesis, which proposes that the previous appetitive or aversive history of the context will modulate the intensity of neophobia and its habituation, we designed an experiment to evaluate the role played by the context in neophobia and its habituation to a new flavor. Method: Male Wistar rats had access to a new flavor solution (0.1% sacharin) in presence of a context previously submitted to a treatment intended to turn it into appetitive, aversive or merely familiar. An additional group of rats received the new flavor in their home cages. Results: After four days of saccharin exposure, those animals in the Appetitive and Home conditions showed significant faster neophobia habituation as compared to those in the Aversive and Familiar groups. Conclusions: These results revealed the potential applied value of using contextual manipulations to promote healthy eating behavior both in animals and humans.

Las Propiedades del Contexto Modulan la Habituación de la Neofobia Gustativa. Antecedentes: la influencia del contexto en presencia del que aparece un sabor nuevo sobre la neofobia gustativa y su habituación es un aspecto que ha recibido relativamente poca atención en la investigación. En este artículo describimos un experimento diseñado para evaluar el papel que juega el contexto sobre la neofobia y su habituación partiendo de las predicciones de la Hipótesis de Seguridad Contextual, que propone que la historia previa apetitiva o aversiva del contexto modulará la intensidad de la neofobia y su habituación. Método: se expuso una muestra de ratas Wistar macho a una disolución de un sabor nuevo (sacarina al 0,1%) en presencia de un contexto previamente sometido a un tratamiento diseñado para convertirlo en apetitivo, aversivo o meramente familiar. Un grupo adicional de ratas recibió el nuevo sabor en sus jaulas hogar. Resultados: después de cuatro días de exposición a la sacarina, los animales en las condiciones Apetitivo y Hogar mostraron una habituación a la neofobia significativamente más rápida que los de los grupos Aversivo y Familiar. Conclusiones: estos resultados revelan el potencial valor aplicado del uso de manipulaciones contextuales para promover conductas alimentarias saludables tanto en animales como en humanos.


Impact factor 2021:   JCR (WOS): 4.104 (Q1)   |   SJR (Scopus) : 1.308 (Q1)    |  CiteScore 2020: 5,3