• Patrick Colgan
Part of the Chapman and Hall Animal Behaviour Series book series (CHABS)


In the lengthening days of spring, a male canary sings its characteristic tunes. In a nest excavated from the gravel, a pair of cichlid fish engage in elaborate rituals of courtship. In a quiescent group of rhesus monkeys, an infant leaves its mother, explores a stone, and then returns and suckles. In each of these and a multitude of other fascinating instances, animals display complex abilities to switch from one activity to another, to modulate the intensity and patterning of their responses, and to direct their activity toward specific goals. Together, these abilities reflect a collection of processes globally referred to as motivation. The purpose of this book is to examine this central topic in animal behaviour.


Cichlid Fish Text Dynamic Causal System Cognitive Ethology Fixed Action Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Patrick W. Colgan 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Colgan
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen’s University at KingstonCanada

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