In two experiments the smelled sweetness of odors was increased by using them as flavorants of sucrose solution. Experiment 1 used blind experimenters to compare a target odor mixed with sucrose with a control odor mixed with water during masked training trials. The increased sweetness of the target odor was unaffected by whether or not subjects revealed some explicit knowledge of the contingencies in a post-conditioning recognition test. Experiment 2 found that such a conditioned increase in odor sweetness occurred whether training solutions were sipped from a cup or sucked through a straw. Using a frequency test designed to provide a sensitive assay of contingency awareness, there was still no indication that this affected conditioning. It was concluded that such modification of the taste-properties of odors results from implicit simultaneous associative learning and provides an example of learned synesthesia.
- Implicit learning
- Simultaneous conditioning