Ontogenesis of learning: I. Variation in the rat's reflexive and learned responses to gustatory stimulation.Dev Psychobiol. 1984 Jan; 17(1):11-33.DP
These experiments indicate that by Day 15 after birth, the processes that mediate a number of taste-controlled behaviors in the rat are functional. These include the sensory processes necessary to detect and respond reflexively to sucrose, the event-learning processes that reduce the rat's neophobic reaction to sucrose, and the integrative-learning processes that enable it to learn an aversion to sucrose when paired with lithium toxicosis, even when these events are separated by 1 hr. These capacities, however, did not emerge simultaneously. Those necessary to detect and respond reflexively to sucrose emerged prior to those that contribute to the learned control of taste-guided behaviors. It is argued that these age-related dissociations in behavioral capacities reflect a caudal-to-rostral maturational sequence of components of the ascending gustatory system that are thought to underlie these capacities.