Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Serial List Learning

  • Damian Scarf
  • Michael Colombo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1507-1

On the week of September 20, 1948, a symposium titled “Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior” was held at the California Institute of Technology. The symposium focused on the question of how the nervous system controls behavior and was attended by a number of eminent scientists, such as John von Neumann, Wolfgang Köhler, Karl Lashley, and Heinrich Klüver. Of the papers presented at the symposium, Lashley’s (1951) paper is likely the most influential and enduring (Bruce 1994). Lashley (1951) focused on the problem of explaining how serially organized behaviors are represented and executed. At the time of his address, the dominant theory postulated that all serially organized behaviors were composed of a chain of stimulus-response (S-R) associations. That is, the functional stimulus for a response (Rn) is the response to the preceding stimulus (Rn-1). Lashley (1951) rejected the chaining theory of serial-organized behavior, especially as an explanation for language, and noted that many errors...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

Section editors and affiliations

  • Dawson Clary
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada