Habituatory response decrement in the intact organism

  • Harris J
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This paper discusses the conditions under which habituation appears over wide ranges of organism and stimulation. The phenomenon is considered a fundamental type of response decrement, probably not essentially different from "true" learning. A review of the literature reveals a striking similarity throughout the phylogenetic range. Its appearance in lower organisms shows its independence of any particular structure. With increases in morphological organization, habituation becomes less dependent upon stimulus intensity and number of stimuli, and it is less controlled by a restricted temporal pattern of stimulation. Habituation in the vertebrate proves qualitatively no different from that in the lower forms. Indices of habituation when plotted as a function of time follow a course which is rapid at first, then progressively slower. The universality of this marks it as a distinguishing characteristic of the phenomenon. This decrement is the result of external and internal conditions. Th

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  • J. D. Harris

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