Physiological Correlates of Habituation in Stentor Coerelius

  • D. C. Wood


Habituation in contractile protozoa, and Stentor in particular, is a behavioral modification which has been known since the end of the nineteenth century. In his well-known book, The Behavior of the Lower Organisms, H. S. Jennings summarized in 1906 the results of his earlier studies on Stentor and included a description of a phenomenon he called “acclimitization”. Jennings noted that individual Stentor generally contracted in response to the first of a series of mechanical stimuli delivered by a hand-held glass needle, but that subsequent stimuli presented with rather short interstimulus intervals became progressively less effective in eliciting contractions. It is this progressive decrement in response probability during the course of iterated stimuli of constant amplitude the Jennings called “acclimitization” and I refer to as habituation.


Mechanical Stimulus Spontaneous Recovery Receptor Potential Response Probability Electrical Stimulus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Company Ltd. 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. C. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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