The link to appetite regulation is from olfactory (and probably pheromonal) stimuli directly to the diet-responsive (and probably pheromone-responsive) hypothalamic neurogenic niche that controls nutrient chemical acquisition via its control of the dopaminergic and serotoninergic neuronal systems
Those who are interested in learning about cause and effect may therefore want to differentiate classical conditioning from operant conditioning. We can do so by referring to classical conditioning as Pavlovian conditioning, which it is, and referring to operant conditioning as willy-nilly silly conditioning, which it is.
“…the early ethologists who could see only the behavior of birds and somehow know that olfaction was not involved.”
… operant conditioning must be the basis for our free will. Unlike other animals, we can chose to respond or not to the rewards associated with operant conditioning because only classical conditioning is directly linked (e.g., epigenetically via olfactory/pheromonal input) to behaviors that are required for species survival.
Classical conditioning links sensory input directly to changes in hormone-driven behavior. Operant conditioning links the rewards associated with the behavior to behaviors that are repeated, or not. We can think about which behaviors we don’t want to exhibit or don’t want to repeat.
The pairing of the light stimulus and shaking seems unlikely to elicit any transgenerational epigenetic effects on neuro-architecture. Operant conditioning (i.e., training) is unlike classical conditioning in this regard.
Learning associated with brain function is learning that is dependent on a direct link from sensory cues to brain function.