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Title: No evidence that portion size influences food consumption in male Sprague Dawley rats.
Authors: Naneix, Fabien
Pinder, Sophie C.
Summers, Megan Y.
Rouleau, Renee M.
Robinson, Eric
Myers, Kevin P.
McCutcheon, James E.
First Published: 18-Apr-2019
Publisher: Elsevier for International Behavioral Neuroscience Society
Citation: Physiology and Behavior, 2019, 206, pp. 225-231
Abstract: In studies of eating behavior that have been conducted in humans, the tendency to consume more when given larger portions of food, known as the portion size effect (PSE), is one of the most robust and widely replicated findings. Despite this, the mechanisms that underpin it are still unknown. In particular, it is unclear whether the PSE arises from higher-order social and cognitive processes that are unique to humans or, instead, reflects more fundamental processes that drive feeding, such as conditioned food-seeking. Importantly, studies in rodents and other animals have yet to show convincing evidence of a PSE. In this series of studies, we used several methods to test for a PSE in adult male Sprague Dawley rats. Our approaches included using visually identifiable portions of a palatable food; training on a plate cleaning procedure; providing portion sizes of food pellets that were signaled by auditory and visual food-predictive cues; providing food with amorphous shape properties; and providing standard chow diet portions in home cages. In none of these manipulations did larger portions increase food intake. In summary, our data provide no evidence that a PSE is present in male Sprague Dawley rats, and if it is, it is more nuanced, dependent on experimental procedure, and/or smaller in size than it is in humans. In turn, these findings suggest that the widely-replicated PSE in humans may be more likely to reflect higher-order cognitive and social processes than fundamental conditioned behaviors.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.04.013
ISSN: 0031-9384
Embargo on file until: 18-Apr-2020
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Elsevier for International Behavioral Neuroscience Society 2019. After an embargo period this version of the paper will be an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License (, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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