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He, however, stands out as a seminal thinker on a wide range of subjects as he was able to move beyond his substantial abilities at observation by forwarding daring hypotheses in order to categorize and make sense of what he saw. Aristotle provided the first written records of mutualistic ties between individuals, animal tool use, and brood parasitism. His views on human nature considered our behavior as constituting formed habits and a desire for happiness. With his proposed concept of a tabula rasa he forwarded the thesis that individuals are born with no innate or built-in mental content, in a word "blank", and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the outside world.

Herophilus studied the nervous system and distinguished between sensory nerves and motor nerves. Erasistratus studied the brain and distinguished between the cerebrum and cerebellum. As a physician in a gladiator school, Galen gained a unique view of the behavioral deficits that resulted from acute head trauma.

Not surprisingly he wrote extensively on the connection between paralysis and severance of the spinal cord. His many audacious operations, including brain and eye surgery, were not again used for almost two millennia. Naturalists and philosophers focused on classical texts and, in particular, on the Bible in Latin. Accepted were Aristotle's views on all matters of science, including psychology. As knowledge of Greek declined, the West found itself cut off from its Greek philosophical and scientific roots.

General levels of literacy further decreased as learning became largely restricted to monastic and cathedral schools that were primarily aimed at training clergy. The Church exerted an overpowering role in philosophical thought and nontheological scholarship was rare. Despite this many influences on the study of behavior in later periods began to emerge. Arabian scholars describe cranial and spinal nerves, along with surgical procedures for neurological disorders. The principal features of the Renaissance 14thth century were the revival of learning based on classical sources and the broad advancements of science.

It pioneered scientific study through deductive reasoning. He argues that he perceives his body through the use of the senses, which often proven unreliable. So he concludes that thinking is his essence as it is the only thing about him that cannot be doubted. Descartes defines "thought" as every activity of which a person is immediately conscious. In contrast, he regarded the mind or soul as a nonmaterial entity that is not subject to such physical constraints.

The Cartesians i. In their view only humans were endowed with an ability to reason. With the advent of the scientific revolution, medieval worldviews steadily gave way to increasingly analytical methodologies and a weakening of vitalist traditions. Although medical thought continued to be guided by the occult, critical thinking began to chip away at the long-held notions based on Galen. Hippocrates' views are revived and Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci conducted detailed studies of human anatomy in order to better portray the human form.

As Andreas Vesalius corrects Greek medical errors, he revolutionizes medicine. William Harvey applies scientific methodology to human physiology and solves the human circulatory system. Paracelsus rejects occultism and pioneers the use of chemicals and minerals in medicine. Thinkers of the Age of Reason 18th century perceive their efforts as bringing to an end previous periods of irrationality, superstition, and tyranny.

Huber, Franz [WorldCat Identities]

John Locke ' s philosophy revives Aristiotles theory of a tabula rasa , where the human mind is at birth a "blank slate" without rules for processing data, and where data is added and rules for processing are formed solely by one's sensory experiences. The concept of a blank mind at birth emphasized the individual's freedom to author one's own human character. Moreover, as members of ones society will become what society make of them, it becomes essential to assure universal access to learning opportunities, medical care, and possibilities for personal development. In the second half of the 19th century the simple taxonomic classification of all life forms was supplanted by a growing focus on parsimonious and scientifically testable phylegenetic hypotheses that could explain the relatedness among groups of organisms.

Studies of the fossil record, the geographic distribution of faunas, and the characteristics that linked the diversity of live, convinced a growing number of scientists that species indeed changed over time. Evolution became viewed as a branching process, whereby populations are altered over time and may specialize into separate branches, hybridize together, or terminate by extinction.

However, the mechanism driving these changes remained unclear until the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species , which provided the theory of evolution with the likely mechanism of natural selection. Psychophysicists , such as Gustav Theodor Fechner and Wilhelm Wundt , aimed to relate matter to mind via a study of inner experiences or feelings towards defined physical stimuli. Psychophysicists explicitly rejected the concepts of vitalists, i.

The main focus lay on the way subjects perceive experimental stimuli that can be objectively measured, such as pure tones varying in intensity, or lights varying in luminance.

Neuroscience and critique : exploring the limits of the neurological turn /

This school of thought represents a movement in psychology that advocates the use of strict experimental procedures to study observable behaviors or responses in relation to environment or stimuli. Behaviorists regard learning and environmental conditions as dominant over the effects of genetics and heredity. Concepts, such as learning or memory are explored using artificial tasks in strictly controlled environments e.


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Comparative psychology viewed science less as a framework for explaining events but rather for predicting and controlling them. Adoption of the observational techniques that had proven useful in the study of the behavior of animals was viewed as the best way to advance the scientific study of human beings. The external environment represented the main determining influence on behavior and its manipulation held the most promise for improving the condition of human beings.

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The concept of a tabula rasa was revived. A common tenet held that the complex phenomena of behavior could be explained by and reduced to clear, distinct, reflexive units of behavior. William James described psychology as "the science of mental life. Ivan P. Pavlov realized that behavior changes when an organism comes to associate one stimulus with another. Specifically, a reflexive or automatic response transfers from one stimulus to another - Classical Conditioning. Edward L. Thorndike Using a Puzzle Box , he demonstrated that behaviors that are followed by a positive outcome are often repeated, while those followed by a negative outcome or none at all are extinguished i.

He postulated the Law of effect where behavior changes when the results of an action proved of consequence e. John B. Watson stimulus-response theory of psychology, emotional reactions are learned in much the same way as other skills. Skinner contends that nearly all behavior is shaped by complex patterns of reinforcement in a person's environment.

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Skinner Box : An animal placed inside the box is rewarded with a small bit of food each time it makes the desired response, such as pressing a lever or pecking a key. A device outside the box records the animal's responses. Ethology , the biological study of behavior under naturalistic conditions, emerged out of diverse roots by individuals largely trained in a zoological tradition.

It aimed to provide a more comprehensive study of animal behavior than previously available. Where comparative psychology studies the behavior of animals in the context of what is known about human psychology, ethology explores animal behavior in the context of animal anatomy and physiology. Ethologists specifically considered the significance of inherited elements of behavior alongside learned components. Influenced by evolutionary biologists such as Thomas Hunt Morgan and others, many aspects of behavior may indeed be accessible to selection.

Charles Otis Whitman examined the importance of phylogeny to the origins of behavior.

Vibration and sound communication in solitary bees and wasps

Oskar Heinroth rather focused on how the adaptive value of behavior may explain behavioral differences among taxa. Experiments, in which he raised young birds separate from other individuals of their own species, demonstrated that many species-specific behaviors were nonetheless present. Interest in genetically-programmed elements instincts were contrasted to those subject to learning e. Using a comparative approach ethologists are thus interested to search for the biological basis of behavior including human behavior by comparing specific activities to those of close relatives.

Karl von Frisch studied the senses of honey bees, identified their mechanisms of communication, and showed their sensitivity to ultraviolet and polarized light.

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He unlocked the basic secrets of the forager's waggle dance, research which continues to yield new insights to this day. Animals trained to respond to a particular stimulus in the appropriate behavioral context can demonstrate their ability to discriminate between different types of stimulus.

For example, von Frisch used classical conditioning to show that fish could hear, and bees were able to perceive colors. Konrad Lorenz' work included studies of imprinting i. Filial imprinting refers to the case where young of a species need to acquire the image of what their parents look like e. Instinctive behavior can usually be elicited by a limited combination of complex environmental cues.

Such a sign stimulus refers to a particular subset of features or qualities of a natural stimulus or from complex environmental cues that is sufficient to elicit a specific behavioral response. They noted that different individuals produce identical behavioral response to specific sign stimuli - Motor patterns or Fixed Action Pattern , FAP.

Once initiated, FAPs continue until completion. A releasing mechanism is a functionally organized, neural circuit that recognizes a specific releaser and produces the appropriate response.

Due to their stereotype, behaviors can be cataloged in form of an Ethogram i. An internal factor that determines how likely an animal is to perform a behavior i. The causation of behavior is viewed in the context of a metaphor - the Psychohydraulic model. Action specific energy is akin to a liquid building up in a vessel. A high level of action specific energy results when a behavior has not been performed in some time.

Pressure from the water pushes onto a piston which is also pulled by sign stimuli in the environment, represented by weights.