Integration of behavior, Unitary reactions, Complex...

Behavior Integration

When studying the behavior of animals in nature and the laboratory, scientists constantly face the need to isolate from the overall complex pattern of individual details - some elementary components. So, the classic saliva reflex in the dog is accompanied by movement to food, changes in respiratory function, cardiac activity, inclusion of secretory and motor functions of the intestine, activation of endocrine glands, etc. Therefore, the concept of a reflex as an elementary unit of behavior is unacceptable, and researchers have to take as a unit a fairly complex fragment of behavior.

Unitary reactions

L. V. Krushinsky (1960) introduced the concept of a unitary reaction, which he defines as an integral act of behavior, formed as a result of the integration of conditioned and unconditioned reflexes, the ratio of which is not strictly fixed. This act of behavior is aimed at the implementation of a single adaptive action, which, in various ways of implementation, has a certain pattern of final execution. Unitary reaction of behavior consists of different reflexes, which can have a different ratio of congenital and individually acquired components.

Let's explain this in the following example. The dog meets the owner who came home with slippers in his teeth. The reasons for this behavior can be at least two: either the dog is specially trained to give slippers, or it has a congenital hereditary conditioned exclusion reaction. Dogs with such heredity without any prior training feel the need to wear different things in the teeth. These items can be very diverse, ranging from twigs to large stones or sticks. Dogs with an innate tendency to beported learn to wear and serve the trainer easily and quickly. At the same time, dogs that do not have this reaction, on the contrary, master this skill with great difficulty and require specific methods of training. Therefore, the process of training a dog to serve slippers could also go completely differently. But the final result of the behavioral act (unitary reaction) is the same: the dog submits slippers (Figure 8.1).

A dog with a strong escaping reaction

Fig. 8.1. A dog with a strong affirmative reaction

The well-known researchers of the genetics of behavior DP Scott and D. Fuller (1965) took the pattern of behavior as a unit of behavior - they characterize it as a special and independent part of the behavior , which has a complex adaptive function. In fact, the concepts unitary reaction and behavior pattern are almost the same.

Complex integration of behavior

Individual unitary reactions or patterns of behavior combine in complex behavior that corresponds to the phases of animal life - biological behavior . LV Krushinsky defined them as multi-act behavior, built from individual unitary reactions, associated with the provision of basic biological needs. If the animal is forced to change its behavior, it often does not produce new reflexes, but constitutes a new complex of already prepared templates - unitary reactions. At the same time, within the framework of a single biological form of behavior, it can change these patterns by developing new conditioned reflexes and incorporating rational activity.

L. V. Krushinsky considers it possible to distinguish among animals the following most common biological forms of behavior:

• Food;

• defensive;

• Sexual;

• Parental;

• Progeny behavior towards parents.

D. P. Scott and D. Fuller described behavioral systems which they considered appropriate to biological forms of behavior according to LV Krushinsky. However, many of the examples of dog behavior cited by them evidently refer to even larger associations (aggressive, food, sex, etc.).

The most common units are types of activity. Many physiologists distinguish only four of their types: defensive, food, multiplying, comfortable. Zoologists usually separate maternal behavior from sexual behavior. DP Scott (1962) considered the behavior of newborns to be special in nature, associated with the excitation of maternal activity: a call for help, cries for hunger, etc.

L. M. Baskin (1976) distinguished the following types of activity:

• Food;

• defensive;

• Social;

• Sexual;

• Maternal;

• Comfortable.

thematic pictures

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