Conditioning of Autonomic Functions, Schizokinesis, and Psychosomatic Medicine
In Pavlovian conditioning experiments with aversive reinforcement, the animal is faced with a no-solution problem and thus cannot achieve a consummatory response. Gantt reported that in dogs, classical cardiac conditioning (to aversive stimuli) occurs more rapidly and extinction occurs more slowly than conditional motor defense responses. He referred to this phenomenon as schizokinesis. Such somatovisceral dichotomy was observed by us in regard to many other conditional visceral reactions, particularly in certain breeds of dogs. Some dogs (e.g., wirehair fox terriers, border collies, German shepherds, cocker spaniels, and some mongrels) exhibited highly generalized, almost inextinguishable conditional tachycardia, polypnea, profuse salivation, high energy metabolism, high urinary vasopressin and catecholamines, and increased muscle tension. Other dogs (most beagles and other hounds and some mongrels) exhibited very little or only temporary schizokinesis. We postulate that individuals exhibiting marked and persistent schizokinesis may be considered at risk for developing psychosomatic disorders. Suggestions for possible prophylactic therapeutic interventions will be discussed.
KeywordsEvans Blue Pavlovian Conditioning Overt Behavior German Shepherd Conditioning Room
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