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experimental neurosis

a pathological condition induced in a nonhuman animal during conditioning experiments requiring discriminations between nearly indistinguishable stimuli or involving punishment for necessary activities (e.g., eating). Experimental neurosis may be characterized by a range of behavioral abnormalities, including agitation, irritability, aggression, regressive behavior, escape and avoidance, and disturbances in physiological activity such as pulse, heart, and respiration rates. For example, in one experiment a dog learned to salivate in the presence of a circle, which had been paired with food, but not in the presence of an ellipse, which had not been paired with food. Faced with a difficult discrimination, the dog became agitated, barked violently, and attacked the apparatus, and all simple discriminations that had been learned were lost.

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Psychology term of the day

February 26th 2024



n. red–green color blindness in which the deficiency is due to absence of the cone photopigment sensitive to green light, resulting in loss of green sensitivity and confusion between red and green (see dichromatism). The condition may be unilateral (i.e., color vision may be normal in one eye). See also protanopia.