Behavioral consequences of intestinal distention: Aversivity and discomfort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the role of different types of small intestinal distention on affective behavior. "Isovolemic" and volumetric distention were hypothesized to have different effects in rats. Both stimuli decreased fluid consumption in a free drinking situation equally. Behavioral correlates, however, were clearly different. Changes of the gut volume were accompanied by behavioral elements characteristic to aversivity while such changes were not observed when the distention was isovolemic. These results indicate that the cessation of intake, i.e., satiety, is not the consequence of the interference of concurrent aversive behavior. In contrast with these findings, isovolemic distention proved to be mildly unpleasant when tested by the taste-aversion method, although the effect was clearly distinct from that of volume changes. The results suggest that not aversivity but discomfort may be a steady, inherent concomitant factor of physiological mechanoceptive gut stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1989



  • Aversivity
  • Behavior
  • Discomfort
  • Gut distention
  • Rat
  • Satiety
  • Taste aversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this