sauce béarnaise syndrome

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sauce béarnaise syndrome

An acquired and permanent conditioned response (e.g., severe nausea) which develops shortly after exposure to a particular stimulus (e.g., béarnaise sauce), as well as other tastes and odours.

First decribed by Martin Seligman 1972, after experiencing nausea following ingestion of béarnaise sauce, it was later developed by John Garcia as a rat model for conditioned taste aversion, using an array of noxious stimuli. Of the stimuli, only tastes and odours evoked the conditioned response, leading him to conclude that it was an evolutionary adaptation to avoid spoilt or poisonous food, which Garcia termed the preparedness hypothesis.