Sensory-specific satiety in humans. More than 'just' habituation?

LL Wilkinson, JM Brunstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The prevailing view is that sensory-specific satiety (SSS) is an example of habituation. However, the extent to which this phenomenon results solely from a low-level process has remained unclear. For the first time, we sought to isolate the relative contribution of habituation from forms of ‘high level’ cognitive activity. In three studies (N = 60, 60, and 48, respectively) we manipulated beliefs about the availability (to consume) of uneaten foods to determine their role in the devaluation of the eaten food. Specifically, participants were told that they either would or would not be granted access to other uneaten foods at the end of a fixed or ad libitum meal. In study 2 (a fixed meal) we found that restricted access to an uneaten food promoted a greater reduction in the palatability of an eaten food. In a final study (N = 80) we assessed SSS after covertly and independently manipulating the perceived and actual amount of food consumed (using a slow self-refilling/draining bowl). In this context, we find that SSS is influenced not by the perceived amount but by the actual amount consumed. Overall, these findings demonstrate that SSS is governed by separate and dissociable processes. Supported by: EPSRC/ESRC.
Translated title of the contributionSensory-specific satiety in humans. More than 'just' habituation?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S46 - S46
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Name and Venue of Conference: Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, Florida

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Nutrition and Behaviour

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