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The Experimental Animal from the Naturalist's Point of View

G. K. Noble
The American Naturalist
Vol. 73, No. 745 (Mar. - Apr., 1939), pp. 113-126
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2457419
Page Count: 14
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The Experimental Animal from the Naturalist's Point of View
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Abstract

There has been an evolution of the social organization of vertebrates from fish to man. Nevertheless, throughout this series the same components of social behavior may be recognized: (1) group attraction, (2) dominance behavior, (3) parental behavior and (4) suggestion. An improvement in the social organization has included: (1) a change from inborn species attraction to a learned group attraction, (2) from a dominance behavior, recognizing only the individual, to one recognizing groups, and (3) from a subordinate, that considers the dominant individual only as a despot, to one that considers the latter a protector and guide. At the fish level the mood of a member of a social group may be quickly transmitted by the character of the individual's movement to other members of the group. Among higher vertebrates these movements are supplemented by vocal expressions which have specific effects upon the behavior of individuals in the group. In the absence of the forebrain, no social behavior is complete in any vertebrate. Forebrain mechanisms essential for social behavior have shifted from the corpus striatum of fish and birds to the cortex of mammals. The elaboration of the cortex in the higher primates is correlated with an increase in the importance of tradition and insight in regulating social behavior.

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