It Is Not Just Human Toddlers That Are Fussy Eaters.
In a research paper, birds show distinct hesitation when approaching novel food and this has been termed ‘neophobia.’ In laboratory-held birds like domestic chicks, this effect lasts for a matter of a few minutes at most, but hesitant attack of novel foods can last for weeks or even months in wild birds. This effect, called ‘dietary conservatism.’ It seems to be a different type of learning process from neophobia as first described and has hitherto been largely overlooked. Neophobia can be easily deactivated by experience, which renders it unlikely to be an important force in wild birds. We also report evidence that the process of incorporation of novel food into the diet is not a simple one-stage process but includes at least four steps of assessment. When we attempt to generalise this to humans, as this article is attempting to extrapolate, perhaps it may explain the reasons why some are adverse to eating certain absolutely safe food from young!
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