Effects of novel ingesta from novel presenters on food acceptance in infants of different ages
Johnson, Lera Joyce
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The present study investigated food acceptance/ingestional neophobia as a function of distal and proximal sources of stimulus novelty in human infants of two ages and evaluated the utility of the two-stage model of ingestion (e.g., Garcia, Hankins, & Rusiniak, 1974) in understanding the role of novel cues in food acceptance. Thirty-two infants (6- to 12-months-of-age) and 32 toddlers (13- to 24-months-of-age) received a familiar or a novel food from a familiar or a novel presenter during lunchtime at a day care center. The measures of performance were latency to the first and second bites, percentage frequencies of gustofacial expressions, behavioral indices of food rejection, such as spitting out the food, pushing the food away and upper body flexion, and percentage intake. Reliably longer latencies occurred to the novel than to the familiar presenter on first and second bites for both age groups. No reliable effects were found to the appearance of the novel food on latencies to the first bite or to the taste cues of the novel food on latencies to the second bite for either age group. Combinations of novel presenter and novel food cues did not produce reliably longer latencies to the second bite than did mixed combinations of novel/familiar cues. However, infants, but not toddlers, showed reliably longer latencies to the novel than to the familiar presenter in the novel food condition prior to the second bite. No reliable age differences were observed in negative gustofacial responses to novel foods. Latencies to the first and second bites were reliably correlated with percentage intake and behavioral indices of aversiveness such as upper body flexion and pushing the food away. These data suggested that demonstration of neophobia may be an indication of aversiveness of novelty. Finding that ingestional neophobia occurred to novel presenter cues supported the view of the two-stage model that distal cues influence approach behavior and the start of ingestion. However, the model was net supported by data for the second bite. Failure to find reliable effects to food cues in latencies to the second bite did net support the view that proximal food cues influence the continuation of ingestion. The prediction for greater neophobia to combinations of novel cues was not supported. Reliable differences in latencies to the second bite for infants, but not for toddlers, who received a novel food from a novel presenter suggest developmental differences in ingestional neophobia.
- Doctoral Dissertations