Behavior Research Methods & Instrumentation

, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 237–239 | Cite as

The tonic immobility reaction in chickens: Response characteristics and methodology

  • Gordon G. Gallup
  • Richard F. Nash
  • Alan M. Wagner
Methods & Designs


A total of 379 chickens were run in five studies to assess the effect of different procedures on tonic immobility and to measure some of the response components of the reaction. The optimal period of manual restraint, by way of producing the most durable immobility response, was found to be 15 sec, and pretest holding conditions were shown to exert a significant influence on the reaction in naive birds. Birds who defecated during immobility or shortly after termination, remained immobile longer than comparable nondefecators. Duration of eye closure and latency of vocalization were also found to be good predictors of the duration of an immobility episode.


NASH Tonic Immobility Immobility Reaction Habituation Trial Animal Hypnosis 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon G. Gallup
    • 1
  • Richard F. Nash
    • 1
  • Alan M. Wagner
    • 1
  1. 1.Tulane UniversityNew Orleans

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