BRAIN AND BEHAVIOUR: A GORDIAN KNOT? by L. DE RUITER, J. M. KOOLHAAS and J. H. STRUBBE (Department of Animal Physiology, Postbox 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands) 1. INTRODUCTION As a result of initiatives taken by Gerard Baerends, work in this department on problems in the borderland between ethology and physiology began in 1952. Of the various lines into which it has bran- ched only one will be discussed here. This aims at explaining in physiological terms the more or less patterned succession of activities exhibited by animals under natural conditions. This work follows ethological usage in that a) it views the behavioural repertoire of the individual as a set of discrete elementary activities, and b) it postulates a causal relation between current external stimulation and the overt performance of these elements. In 'The Study of Instinct' Niko Tinbergen has stated that 'instinctive behaviour had usually been classified according to the various biological ends it serves", but that "this classification runs parallel to a classification based on the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms" (TINBERGEN, 1952: 157). When we began our work, we adopted this view as a guiding principle, though rather than Tinbergen's term 'instinct' we used 'behaviour system'
Netherlands Journal of Zoology (in 2003 continued as Animal Biology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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