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Investigating motion sickness using the conditioned taste aversion paradigmThe avoidance of foods which are associated with uncomfortable or aversive internal states has long been recognized. Many people are aware, either directly or via anecdotal reports, of individuals who avoid foods which were eaten just before the onset of sickness. Awareness of this phenomenon can be traced to the writings of John Locke. The disruption of diet during cancer therapy is sometimes ascribed to the attribution of an unpleasant quality to foods eaten preceding the sickness induced by therapy itself. In addition, it has long been recognized by the manufacturers of rodent poisons that animals avoid the injection of food treated with nonlethal doses of poison. An important part of the laboratory study of this phenomenon was directed toward studying the role learning plays in this type of avoidance behavior. Following the lead of Garcia and his associates, this avoidance has come to be interpreted as arising from a form of classical conditioning. In typical laboratory studies of this bahavior, a novel food is ingested just prior to exposure to some stimulus, commonly poisoning or irradiation, which produces illness. Following the terminology of classical conditioning, it is common to describe this procedure as one of 'pairing' a conditioned stimulus (CS), the novel food, with an unconditioned stimulus (US), the illness induced by toxicosis or irradiation. Avoidance of the food in succeeding feeding opportunities is viewed as a learned response or a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). Garcia et al. asserted that motion sickness could produce 'gustatory' aversions, but passive motion was first reported as an US to establish CTA by Green and Rachlin. The purpose is to review the manner in which CTA has been used to study motion sickness. Numerous reviews concentrating on other aspects of CTA are available in the existing literature. Readers are encouraged to consult the various papers and edited books for extensive information on other aspects of this literature.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Fox, Robert A.
(San Jose State Univ. CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Ames Research Center, Self-Motion Perception and Motion Sickness
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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