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Reproduction pp 423-493 | Cite as

Neural Mechanisms of Female Reproductive Behavior

  • Donald Pfaff
  • Doan Modianos
Part of the Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology book series (HBNE, volume 7)

Abstract

The ultimate aim in the study of the nervous system is the explanation of behavior: the demonstration of how behavioral responses are produced as a function of nerve cell activity. Even for small bits of neural tissue and restricted aspects of behavior, the number of nerve cells involved is so large and their connections are so complex that large numbers of hypotheses can be imagined. As a result, in the history of beavioral studies, a great deal of “neurologizing” has occurred. Broad speculation about the overall “organization of the brain” and the manner in which it controls behavior has been entertained because, in most cases, the number of facts available to rule out hypotheses has been small. Thus, no comprehensive hypothesis really could be proved. It has seemed necessary to pick a situation where it would be fruitful to gather a great number of behavioral, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological facts and thus to narrow down the allowable hypotheses to a small number. If enough relevant facts can be brought to bear, and hypotheses can be conclusively ruled out, then a strong inference (Platt, 1964) of the correct hypothesis will finally be possible. In turn, principles can be stated clearly and can be tested.

Keywords

Medial Forebrain Bundle Medial Geniculate Body Comparative Neurology Medial Preoptic Area Ventromedial Nucleus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Pfaff
    • 1
  • Doan Modianos
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neurobiology and BehaviorThe Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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