Science: Conditioned Reflex

Normally dogs snatch at food; elephants reach out their trunks for it. A man will pull his hand away from a hot plate. These are examples of unconditioned reflexes, fully developed in infancy. They constitute the equipment with which the animal faces life, according to the behaviorists.* By modifying the conditions, the simple reflexes may be changed, becoming more complicated, or conditioned. The process of changing an unconditioned reflex into a conditioned reflex was clearly demonstrated to an audience of psychiatrists at the Academy of Medicine last week, in a cinema entitled "The Mechanics of the Brain."

The cinema showed dogs which...

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