Synthesis: A Comparative Look at Vertebrates

  • R. Lahue
  • W. C. Corning


The comparative researcher’s frame of reference usually encompasses more than an interest in an animal for its own sake. We hope to arrive at some general principles that will be applicable to other systems, and in psychology this “other system” is usually man. Claims that interest in invertebrates can be pursued without a vertebrate perspective are difficult to support when the research is organized around vertebrate paradigms and is concerned with vertebrate categories such as “learning,” “aggression,” “social behavior,” etc. With this anthropocentric bias it is easy to understand why the invertebrates remain the “forgotten majority;” yet, in spite of the Procrustean beds that we force them into, invertebrates appear to have achieved some vertebratelike learning capacities to a remarkable degree.


Abdominal Ganglion Rock Lobster Response Decrement Vertebrate Brain Dominant Focus 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Lahue
    • 1
  • W. C. Corning
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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