Learning socially to eat more of one food than of another.
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Young observer rats (Rattus norvegicus) that interacted with a conspecific demonstrator fed a diet with more cinnamon than cocoa subsequently preferred cinnamon-flavored diet to cocoa-flavored diet, whereas observer rats that interacted with a demonstrator fed a diet with more cocoa than cinnamon preferred cocoa-flavored diet to cinnamon-flavored diet. The tendency to eat more of a food when it is a major constituent, rather than a minor one, of the diet of a conspecific may be particularly useful to weaning rats as they learn to compose a nutritionally balanced diet by eating appropriate relative amounts of several different foods.
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