Models and Analogues in Biology

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effects of stimuli acting through the brainstem reticular system. Factors such as stimuli and hormones which affect specific patterns of behaviour are to be thought of as controlling this activity, of increasing the probability of one pattern rather than another. Changes in strength or threshold can thus be thought of as changes in the probability of one pattern of activity rather than another, and not as changes in the level of energy in a specific neural mechanism. This involves some return to a 'telephone exchange' theory of behaviour, but with emphasis on the non-specific input necessary to keep the switch mechanism active, and with switches which are not all-or-none, but determine the probability of one pattern rather than another. Furthermore, switching does not depend solely on external stimuli--i.e. we are not concerned with a purely reflexological model. This is not the place to pursue this view further: it suffices to say that it seems possible and preferable to formulate behaviour theories in which concepts of energy, and of drives which energize behaviour, have no role.
1. Phenomena of motivation have often been explained in terms of an energy model.
2. The energy models used by Freud, McDougall, Lorenz and Tinbergen are outlined briefly.
3. The extent to which these models are considered by their authors to correspond with structures in the nervous system is discussed.
4. The relation between physical energy and the postulated behavioural energies are examined.
5. The number of forms of energy postulated by each author is discussed.
6. These models have had considerable success in discussions of the behaviour of the whole animal.
7. They have, however, certain grave disadvantages. In particular, these arise from a confusion between the properties of physical and behavioural energy, and from attempts to explain multiple processes in terms of simple unitary mechanisms.
8. It seems doubtful whether an energy concept is in fact necessary at all.

I am grateful to Drs J. W. L. Beament, John Bowlby, Charles Kaufman and W. H. Thorpe for their comments on the manuscript.
ANDREW R. J. ( 1956). Some remarks on conflict situations, with special reference to "Emberiza" spp. Brit. J. Anim. Behav. 4, 41-45.
BEXTON W. H., HERON W. & SCOTT T. H. ( 1954). Effects of decreased variation in the sensory environment. Canad. J. Psychol. 8, 70-76.


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Models and Analogues in Biology


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