Neurotransmitters and Behavior

An important cellular function performed by neurons is the manufacture of chemical neu-rotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are produced in the cell body of specialized neurons by the endoplasmic reticulum, which is dispersed throughout most of the cytoplasm of the neuron. After manufacture, neurotrans-mitters are stored in vesicles produced by another cell structure called the Golgi apparatus. The vesicles containing the neurotransmitter are subsequently transported down the axon along...

Chaining Ordering Complex Performances

Training often requires that a sequence of arbitrary behaviors be structured so that they occur in a specific order. This order of occurrence is based on a predetermined continuity in which one behavior must always precede the next in a set sequence. Orderly sequencing is accomplished by making the advancement of the series contingent on the emission of a predetermined response occurring before the next one in the series is selected. To accomplish this goal, each task in the chain is brought...

Experimental Neurosis

A great deal of experimental attention has been focused on the etiology of abnormal behavior and neurosis in animals Patton, 1951 Broadhurst, 1961 . The term neurosis is used here in a narrow sense, not to be mistaken for the condition described in human psychiatry, although parallels do exist between human and animal neuroses. To limit confusion, a working definition of neurosis is needed. In the Oxford Companion to the Mind, Gregory defines neurosis as a maladaptive habit Neurosis is a habit...

Instinctive Drift and Appetitive Learning

Just as innate defensive reactions often obstruct efficient avoidance learning, interfering appetitive and exploratory tendencies sometimes surface during reward training that can significantly impede positive learning Bolles, 1972 . Animals trained to perform simple chains of behavior for food reinforcement often spontaneously exhibit adjunctive behavior patterns that distract them from completing the trained sequence. This interference occurs in spite of intensive and lengthy training...

Differential Reinforcement

There exist many ways to reduce the occurrence of unwanted behavior besides punishment and extinction. Perhaps the best initial approach to decrease unwanted behavior is to reinforce some competing alternative behavior differentially while simultaneously simply ignoring the unwanted one Skinner, 1953 Kazdin, 1989 . There are three basic schedules of differential reinforcement 1 differential reinforcement of other behavior DRO , 2 differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior DRI , and 3...

Safety Signal Hypothesis

Another theoretical account of avoidance learning that has many adherents is the safety signal hypothesis. The aforementioned experiment by Rescorla and LoLordo 1965 is frequently referred to in support of this theory. Recall that as a result of the differential conditioning of CS1 correlated with shock and CS2 correlated with the absence of shock , the rate of jumping over the barrier was increased in the presence of the stimulus previously associated with shock CS1 and depressed in the...