General concept of the theory of training

March 29, 2023
Dog Training
General concept of the theory of training

A small number of old textbooks on dog training, published at a time when the whole thing was so new and so shaky in its first steps, entirely based on private experiments with their individual evaluation, were undoubtedly subjective bias with overestimation, andsometimes underestimating the results obtained.

Therefore, they did not have a strict scientific foundation at all, but nevertheless, at one time they gave a big impetus, rather of a general than educational nature, to the development of the training and use of dogs. The gradual evolution of this case, of course, raised the question of the need to create a unified science-based teaching method.

The old textbooks, at best, indicated “how” to technically perform this or that technique, but did not explain “why” the dog performed this or that action, “what” was the causative agent and the forcing factor to perform the technique. And if this is so, then a blind indication of how Come / Come herechanically carry out the technique, being suitable for a dog of a certain type, was sometimes of little use, and even completely unsuitable for another dog, which had deviations from the first type in its character and mental make-up; in such a setting, the performance or non-performance by the dog of the required action remained incomprehensible to the trainer.

This approach to business is reminiscent of the inept training of a chauffeur who has been taught how to operate a car, but not familiarized with the interaction of its parts, due to which he always gets stuck at the slightest delay, not knowing its cause.

A trainer who has not studied the scientific foundations of training will always be put in the same difficult position whenever the dog refuses to work, since he, blindly knowing only the mechanical construction of the technique, does not know the reasons that guide the dog, forcing it to perform or not perform the desired action. (the trainer of the old time did not study the “mechanism” of the dog (the nervous system and its work), and therefore he could not think deeply about the construction of the technique.

Since then, when the whole case of using dogs has become strong and began to be state-owned, and not amateur, the question of the need to create solid organizational forms in the matters of training and the use of dogs has been strongly revealed. Under such conditions, the theory of training as a subject of study was created very recently (about 3 years ago).

The need for the creation of the theory of training in recent years has become clearly noticeable. Not a single textbook that gives only a technical description of techniques that speaks “how” it is necessary to train a dog and consisting of a large number of pages can give comprehensive information. Thousands of small details, dozens of different types of dogs, are found on the path of a trainer in his daily work.

It is not at all possible to foresee all these details. Therefore, there was a need to create a general theory of training, which gives a complete explanation of the mechanism for constructing techniques, the basis of which would serve the doctrine of the highest nervous activity and the work of the cortex of the dog’s brain (i. E. Issues of thinking and “psychology”).

Having realized the subject as a whole, a scientific prepared trainer will easily invent those direct pathogens himself that cause the dog’s desired answer. Under such conditions, the trainer can easily analyze the moments of training and modify them where it is necessary.

Without the theory of training, the trainer did not know “why” the dog performs certain actions, he was blind and his actions were random, artisan.

The basis for the creation of the theory of training was primarily the scientifically based tests of a number of practical achievements, and a certain pattern of their formations was revealed in a number of study.

The second basis of the theory of training was science in the person of the old “psychology” and new achievements in the field of studying conditioned reflexes (the study of the highest nervous activity of the body, the work of the cerebral cortex).

The complex of studying the above foundations gives the trainer the ability to make a deep analysis of each practical technique and determine the possibility or impossibility of performing a particular task.

Thus, the theory of modern training, without based, as previous textbooks, on a number of random individual practical achievements, is strictly objective and goes in parallel and in complete contact with practical developments that are under construction, in turn, on the basic principles of psychophysiology, or rather, onThe basic principles of the highest nervous activity of organisms.

Such consistency of theory with practice can serve as a true key to success in work.

The entire course of the theory of training in its content is divided into two departments: 1) the general course of the theory of training (methodology) is the most important and reveals the reasons forcing the dog to perform one or another action; The same department introduces the basics of mental activity and the boundaries of the “mental” capabilities of the dog. Having learned and deeply realized this department, the reader can independently build certain practical approaches to the training of a dog with various tricks. 2) The training technique is a theoretical analysis of practical developments.

The difference in the tasks of each of the departments can be determined like this: the first teaches “why” the dog performs this or another technique, the second department teaches “how” technically needs to be built the desired technique.

It is always necessary before technical execution that a detailed methodological reflection is necessary, without which the actions of the trainer will have the nature of random decisions that are not agreed upon, and sometimes definitely going to the detriment of the case.

The technique contains a strictly thought out plan for upcoming technical work and the entire reasonable sequence of actions.

The case of training is first put on a scientific justification and a strong foundation is undoubtedly the methodology (general, the course of training theory). In it, we introduce a young trainer with a number of components of the learning process, we analyze this process, after which the further technical study of the techniques will be understandable and easily digestible. Here we also introduce the reader with scientific clarifications in the field of animal psychology, explaining what processes occur in the “thinking” of the dog during its training.

In the learning case, the one who conducts it through a methodically thought out, and most importantly reasonable plan wins.

The trainer who knows only technical training and does not learn the general scientific foundations of the theory will always “humanize” the psyche of the dog, and therefore will build his training on a number of unconscious mistakes and will lead him along the false path, being not understood by the dog. (The term “humanization” should be understood as the lack of knowledge and accounting for the work of the dog’s cerebral cortex. In such cases, the trainer often gives tasks that are understandable to him and the people around him, but completely incomprehensible to the dog, with its boundaries of “worldview” and “mental” opportunities.).

The old textbooks, however, gave a number of mechanical approaches to all methods of training, but this was too few, since this way could not provide all the smallest deviations that inevitably arise in the process of work.

We say that it is necessary to realize the subject as a whole, and not to study mechanically some of its details.

You can decide on the direction, remembering that 6+5 = 11, but, not knowing the general rules of arithmetic, one cannot solve such a problem with other numbers.

It is also impossible, explaining the technique, only indicate “do this”, you need to explain why in this case you need to do this and what happens if it is done a little differently.

When people who have devoted themselves to the work of dog training will begin, having a scientific foundation, to identify the reasons for their work, which make the dog perform the required action, and will also analyze the reasons inhibiting the course of training, only then the trainer will cease to be a lover for the right planea scientific and objective approach to this new and interesting business.

Turning to the direct acquaintance with the general foundations of the theory of training, we must once again indicate to the reader that this book seeks to give only a popular familiarization with the scientifically based theory of training and the basics of dog training.

It is also necessary to indicate that, when analyzing the issues of “psychology”, physiology and analysis of training, we will sometimes adhere to the commonly used old terminology, usually used in subjective psychologych a concept is “memory”, “instinct”, “fear”, “feeling”, “pleasure and displeasure” when explaining the issues of training is difficult to replace the terms of objective scientific physiology, and we, for the purposes of a more popular presentation, will adhere to old, moregenerally perplexed forms, still knowing the scientific and objective ways of their education.

The complex of sciences involved in the study of the life of animals contains rudely dividing, anatomy (or rather morphology, since anatomy is one of the morphological disciplines), physiology and psychology (the last discipline has lost its significance, and the issues included in it are now relatedto the physiology of higher nervous activity).

The first of them studies the internal structure and forms of a living organism. This science of all three is the most justified, perfect and definite, since it is not built on abstract constructions and subjective analyzes, but on real real, practical developments.

The second science of the degree of completeness and commitment we will call physiology (we will call its “science of life” (I deliberately call the physiology “science of life”, because everything that lives is subject to physiological laws. Life itself is only a complex comprehensive physiological process, and no more)), which directly studies the very essence of life by observing and identifying a pattern in the work of all organs of a living organism without exception. Scientific justifications of this discipline were obtained by scientists with great difficulty, but each such discovery was a new stage in its improvement.

For all the difficulty of its path, physiology, as such, has achieved a strong main foundation, and those superstructures that were subsequently formed by a slow evolutionary route were a good building material for its further development.

The third, less perfect, science, was psychology. The very definition of psychology as a science “engaged in the study of mental phenomena” already says for the shatterity of its justification, since its foundation is based on an abstract concept of “soul”, at the beginning that arose through divine arbitrariness. On these grounds, she cannot meet the worldview of a materialist who is alien to abstract concepts, based on unproven foundations.

Currently, the old, not scientific psychology has lost its former significance and is called the subjective, popular psychology. And instead of it, all issues belonging to her are covered in the plane of physiological justifications of the doctrine of higher nervous activity.

Science in general never remains at a standstill, its culture is uninterrupted. Human thought is constantly striving for new research in the field of the unknown and deduces new laws that determine the existence of worlds and life. What used to be explained by so-called “mental” phenomena is now explained by the analysis of complex physiological processes (mechanical and chemical processes).

Based on these new definitions of mental analysis and mental laws, a new science arose—objective psychology (the physiology of higher nervous activity).

Let us make an attempt to roughy compare the anatomy and physiology of man and dog and try to identify the difference between them.

Speaking about the basic principles, without touching on the dimensions and details of anatomical forms and details of physiological processes, we, with a cursory comparison, will hardly notice this difference.

Looking at the skeleton of a dog and comparing it with the human skeleton, we will see: a common skeleton similar to ours, the same ribs that protect the internal organs, the same skull that protects the brain, the same spine that serves as a receptacle for the spinal cord and the main core of the skeleton, and, finally, the same bones of the limbs and a number of other common features.

Internal organs: the heart, lungs, kidneys, as well as the backbone, are extremely similar.

Turning to a cursory review of physiological processes, one can also point out the same principles of blood circulation, digestion, nervous system, mammary and salivary glands, sensory organs, etc.

The difference lies only in the fact that man and dog are on different steps of the evolutionary ladder and have: some have more perfect anatomical forms and more complex physiological processes, while others are less perfect. In other words, the difference is in the details, not in the general features. (Depending on the conditions of existence and environmental influences, the “evolutionary ladder” was built for thousands of years.).

For the trainer, of course, the most important thing is to realize, to identify the commonality of man and dog in this plane (brain physiology), as well as to establish the difference between them. When the trainer achieves this, everything will be in his hands, because he will know the “psychic” abilities and capabilities of his dog, will be clear to her by his actions, just like she, her actions and desires will be clear to him. The study of this issue in the light of the latest scientific achievements is the cornerstone of the general course of the theory of training, so we will dwell on it in more detail.

Let us analyze the question of what is needed first of all for the correct, rationally set course of training. First of all, it is necessary to establish a mutual understanding of man and dog, for which it is necessary first of all to realize the possibilities arising from the higher nervous activity (mental [boundaries) of the dog and, in accordance with this, build the entire learning process in the future. In other words, the basis of training lies primarily in the knowledge of the psychology of the dog [a detailed study of the processes of “behavior” (an American term) of the dog and the study of the causes and patterns of its “behavior”].


Rice. 5 Dog Skeleton

It must be remembered that an approach that is successfully used for one dog may be completely unsuitable for another, depending on its character, mental inclinations, age and external conditions of the situation.

The trainer needs to know the reasons for the dog’s disobedience and irritation, find a “common language” with it, and, depending on this, apply one or another approach to developing a technique.

In training, it is especially important and necessary that the trainer, taking into account the “psychology” of the dog, always knows how to interest the dog in the work, so that it performs it willingly, having a desire for satisfaction as a compelling impulse or a firmly established “mechanization” of performing a technique. Everything that is unpleasant for the dog and is done solely under duress, and, therefore, that does not interest the dog, is always difficult to do.

Based on this, the trainer must first of all be a reasonable psychologist and teacher who builds training and combines techniques on the principle of maintaining the dog’s interest in achieving results until the mechanical execution of the technique is established, that is, the formation of a habit (persistent conditioned reflex) for trouble-free execution. An experienced trainer must design the approach to the hold in such a way that its execution follows from the dog’s natural desire for satisfaction, and this can only be achieved by making him interested in working on this technique.

Returning to our main question about the “psychology” of animals, it is necessary to dwell briefly on the historical developments of this question.

The desire to explore the limits of the mental capabilities of animals has interested scientists from Aristotle to the present day.

Even at the present time, it cannot be said that this issue has been finally resolved, despite the gigantic upward leap after the emergence of the teachings of I. P. Pavlov about conditioned reflexes.

Since ancient times, scientists argued and distinitely expressed about whether the animal mind has and whether it has a process of thinking. Many scientists, according to the worldview of that time, proved the complete lack of thinking in animals, other scientists cited no less reasonable data on the presence of the mind, and therefore the processes of thinking in animals.

One of the first ancient naturalists-researchers was the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Back 400 years before our era, he sees intelligent creatures in animals and, depending on their ability to thinking, divides them into different groups.

Aristotle said that ” animals can learn and remember, but they cannot consider what they have learned. “He indicated that “in animals there are traces of the same mental phenomena that are more sharply detected in humans. “In other words, even in those distant times, Aristotle established in animals the presence of memory and a certain share of thinking.

This was the most bold and best definition of all that was expressed in those centuries.

More than one and a half thousand years have passed, and Leibniz in its theory is more broadly expressed. He speaks of primitive arguments of animals, about comparing their impressions, that is, about the presence of conscious thinking, but with some restrictions.

Buffon, putting an example of a dog, finds in animals the presence of human passions, feelings, consciousness of his existence and the ability to perceive impressions. Further, scientists of that time prove that a person, being the highest form of the animal world, is very similar in its anatomical structure with an animals of a higher order and approached his physical and mental appearance for long periods and eras (Darwin).

Various descriptions of scientists about the mental activity of animals in the end in the XVII and XVIII centuries resulted in the struggle of two concepts.

One group of scientists insisted that the animal has no thinking and all its actions can be explained only by manifestations of innate instincts, that is, unconscious processes.

Another – argued that animals have thinking based on the same basic psychological processes as in humans.

Here you have to dwell a little on the definition of the concept of what instinct is.

The formula of instinct (according to subjective, popular psychology) is as follows: “Instinct is the innate ability of the body to perform expedient actions aimed at preserving a kind and individual without the participation of consciousness. “

According to external manifestations, it is easy to mix instinctive actions with the actions performed due to thinking, since expediency makes them similar to conscious actions.

So, for example: the dog, before the onset of the “puppy”, arranges a nest and then hesitates in the puppies in the puppies. Nobody taught her to this, she does it unconsciously on the basis of the instinct of preserving the genus. Bobra, under the influence of congenital instincts, build huts and dams, making a dam. Birds who have never been studied by anyone, under the influence of the same instincts, build nests in order to preserve the genus.

It is especially important for a trainer to be familiar with dog instincts, since he often will have to use her congenital instincts when building a reception. So, for example, the instinctive persecution of the “runaway” will be useful during the study of the convoy and guard service, the instinctive grasping of all kinds of moving objects will serve as the basis for teaching an appeal.

In 1812, the scientist Cuvier established the difference between the mind and instinct, formulating it as follows: 1) in the instinct, everything is blindly necessary and invariably, everything is subject to choice, condition and changeability; 2) in the instinct everything is innate, in the mind everything happens according to experience and training; 3) In the instinct, everything is particularly, everything is generally in the mind.

The Cuvier formula at one time clearly distinguished the concept of mind and instinct and showed a further way to study the psychology of animals.

Speaking of instincts, it is necessary to briefly point out the so-called fading of them. Instincts are primarily associated with the struggle for existence and originate in the ability of each living organism to make appropriate actions without the participation of consciousness (which we will call a reflex somewhat later).

Naturally, animals in the wild state use instincts at every step, gradually developing them.

As soon as the animal comes out of the wild state and domesticated (in which the need for the processes of struggle for existence disappears), in his evolutionary, hereditary order, without constant exercises, instincts go out, giving way to the development of more complex mental processes, i. E. Thinking.

So in a person the wild instincts of the former wild cave-sided man have died out, due to the fading instincts, thinking (instincts did not actually faded. For thousands of years, more and more nasolas (conditioned reflexes) in the cerebral cortex h. Centers-in-Instincts). A large number of complex conditioned reflexes drown out the work of subcortical centers).

In domestic dogs, depending on their work, there is a different degree of extinction of individual instincts. While the instincts are more extinguished in indoor dogs, in some other breeds, such as hunting dogs, they are still quite pronounced. This happens due to the constant service exercises of the latter or the vital necessity of instinct. True, centuries, millennia will pass, and the general course of evolution will perhaps drown them out.

Speaking on the question of instincts, it is necessary to point out the following: often in social relations habits are attributed the form of instinctive actions. So, for example, they say “this carpenter has a skill, he works instinctively. “This phrase is fundamentally wrong. Habit is first of all a kind of rational action. Our rapid speech is also a habit of speaking, and when speaking we do not pay attention to the rapidly pronounced words of our native language, since we are “used” to it. But as soon as we start speaking in a foreign language, which we do not know well, we will have to notice every word noticeably. Speaking in our native language, no matter how fast we speak, yet every word passes through our consciousness, forcing ideas corresponding to this word to emerge in memory. Due to great habit, this happens so quickly that we cannot notice the complexity of the whole process, and it is this invisibility of the passage of habitual actions through consciousness that makes it possible to compare habits with instincts (“automation” and “automatism”). (The habit is explained by the formation of a strong conditioned reflex or a whole complex of conditioned reflexes.).

Instinctive or unconscious actions are also fast, and therefore outwardly similar to the processes of “habits”. (For a better understanding of the concept of instinct, see the chapter on instincts.)

In order to make the further presentation of the question of the “mental” activity of dogs easily understandable, we shall have to dwell briefly and schematically on the basic principles of the functioning of the nervous system, on the work of the senses and the formation of sensations.

Only in the 17th century did the doctrine of the central nervous system receive a solid scientific justification. After that, science began to develop rapidly, but before the formation of experimental stations for experimental psychology (the first station was opened by the Bund in Leipzig about 75 years ago), its positions were very unstable.

Science says that not a single thought, not a single movement, not a single sensation can pass without the participation of the nervous system, and this is what distinguishes a living being from an automaton – a machine.

The central nervous system combines the brain and spinal cord, nerve trunks and the periphery (a network of nerve fibers that radiate from nerve trunks throughout the body).

It has been established that “the brain works in the processes of conscious movements, systematically striving for their general expediency” (in this case, the author does not mean “subcortical centers” embedded in the brain). As for the spinal cord, it ” also gives an expedient response to all sensitive stimuli received from the outside world, but unconsciously and more quickly. “

So, the higher nerve centers that direct conscious actions are located in the cerebral hemispheres.

There are indications in science that the mental development of this intellect is directly dependent on a large number of complicated forms of cerebral convolutions of the cerebral hemispheres and its weight (? !). Experimental psychology has established the average brain weight of a man at 1, 424 grams and a woman at 1, 274. Weighing the brains of people especially outstanding in terms of mental intelligence showed a significant increase in the weight of their brains and a greater complexity of the cerebral convolutions. So, for example, Mendeleev’s brain weighed 1, 570 grams. Bekhterev’s brain weighed 1, 400 grams.

Nerve fibers extending from the brain and spinal cord (peripheral system) have two purposes – some are sensitive, while others are motor. They represent, as it were, two paths along which the so-called nervous excitations are transmitted.

The task of the sensory nerves is to transmit all stimuli coming from the outside world to the center, such as touch, sight, taste and smell are obtained by the work of the sensory nerves. On the contrary, another neural pathway: motor nerves transmit “orders” from the center to our limbs. So, for example, the movement of the legs of a Down dog in order to get up is produced by the work of the motor nerves.

It should be noted that the excitation of one nerve is not transmitted to the Heel nerves, but go directly to the center, transmitting excitation at a speed of about 60 meters per second. Here you should pay attention to the so-called threshold of irritation, i. E. Minimums and maximums of the strength of stimuli that can cause excitation of sensitive nerves. On this issue, on the basis of experimental work, it is proved that animals have much greater sensitivity than humans. So, for example: the dog’s smell allows her to feel the smell of estrus at an extremely large distance; The dog distinguishes 1/8 tone, and a person is 1/2 tone, etc.

The hemispheres of the big brain are divided into areas, some of which serve the apparatus of vision, others – taste, others – hearing, etc. These areas are divided into smaller ones, such as a section of the brain that serves hearing, in turn is divided into two sectionstones and timbre; A plot that serves the taste – on areas of acidic, sweet, salty and bitter sensations.

Now we will trace how the nervous system as a whole works and how the sensation itself turns out. A number of irritations that come from the outside world and cause appropriate sensations in the brain are acting on each living organism. Visual irritations cause the sensations of light and color, auditory – tones and timbre, tactiles – touching, olfactory – smell, thermal – cold and heat, etc.

The process of transmitting irritation is as follows: suppose that someone shouted near the animal. The sound (i. E. The sound wave) reached the hearing organ and led to a certain hesitation of the eardrum; This vibration by the system of the smallest bones is transmitted to the so-called “inner ear”, annoying the end of the auditory nerve; The auditory nerve came into appropriate excitement (depending on the tone and timbre of this sound) and this excitement along the nervous paths was transmitted into the brain, where the excitation reaction was obtained, that is, the sound itself “felt”.

Exactly the same processes occur in their nature when all sensations, i. E. During the work of all senses, without exception. In order for the body to make any response, the process occurs in the reverse order: “Order to the movement” that arose in the brain is transmitted through the motor nerves of the corresponding muscle or group of them, which, reduced, produce the desired movement.

The basic concepts of scientific and objective study of the mental activity of animals.

Somewhat earlier, we pointed out that science in its evolutionary development created new scientific definitions for the old psychology, new unshakable foundations, revealing the former obscurity of a number of “spiritual” phenomena and revealing the old concept of “soul”, associated with divine will. Let us try briefly to characterize the foundations of objective scientific zoopsychology, highlighting its main core, the doctrine of reflexes.

It is extremely difficult to approach the clarification of the question of the instincts and the mind of animals, that is, to the consideration of those concepts that were previously hidden under the general name “soul”. Until very recently, this was considered completely inaccessible to human understanding.

In recent years, science, constantly working on the study of the mental activity of animals, clearly outlined these concepts from a strictly scientific point of view, giving new definitions of what until now was considered incomprehensible.

We have already said that the old, non-scientific psychology, with all the questions being analyzed about the mental activity of animals, first of all proceeded “from itself”, using “introspection”, comparing certain experiences of the animal with the experiences of the tester, having no other way of research. In this regard, all the actions (behavior) of animals were compared with the actions of a person, involuntarily “humanizing” the actions of animals. This often led to the grossest errors in the definitions of the worldview of animals.

Somewhat earlier, we said that people living in the same family and having different psychological biases often do not understand each other, due to the fact that each compares the actions of another person from “his point of view” (approaching subjectively), resulting in a painful abnormalityrelationships between such “different” people (different “settings” for life and different “characters”, i. E. Different degrees of excitability of the implicit system, are the reasons for mutual misunderstanding of each other).

Of course, by constructing an understanding of animal behavior by the same method of subjective interpretation, errors will be expressed even sharper and more often.

For science, such an approach to assessing the behavior of animals was unacceptable due to its fallacy; it was necessary to find a more solid way to determine the mental activity of animals, an objective, purely external way that would not depend on the subjective (personal) worldview, but would be of a general scientifically based nature… The new direction that science has taken in the field of studying zoopsychology is called scienceabout the behavior of animals, meaning the word “behavior” (by “behavior” you need to understand the relationship between the animal and the environment (responses to various pathogens), (the term introduced by American scientists) the adaptation of the organism to the environment. We already know that for eachSo-called “streams” of various stimuli constantly operate in a living organism: we hear a shot – sound stimuli go through the corresponding nerves to our auditory centers, we see various shapes of objects – corresponding stimuli go to the visual centers.

Depending on the strength of the irritation produced, the organism gives one or another response, as if adapting to the environment, that is, it gives expedient answers, as if fighting for existence.

The science of behavior just studies the processes of the organism’s expedient responses to the stimuli received and seeks out patterns between them (there are always “streams” of various stimuli on the animal’s body – sound, visual, tactile, etc.) It is necessary to approach the study of complex processesgradually, starting with the analysis of the simplest phenomena. That is why the study of the complex processes of animal behavior began with the simplest responses to external stimuli, namely, with reflexes.

With this type of the simplest mental act we meet in our life constantly and at every step. When a person begins to fall, he makes a whole series of various expedient movements, bending his torso in different directions, in order to maintain balance and stay on his feet (the same is true of a person balancing on a tightrope in a circus); each individual movement occurs here without the participation of consciousness with lightning speed, but with a certain expediency in each individual case.

When analyzing these movements, it would seem to a scientifically unprepared person that each of the movements is strictly thought out.

Let’s go further: if a drop flies past the eye, then our eyelids blink, protecting the eyes with appropriate movement; When a speck falls into the same eye, the body immediately gives an appropriate response in the form of a secretion of tears, which wash off the sylinking. When we drive a needle with a needle, the hand will advance instantly.

So, the body continuously gives appropriate answers to all going irritations, as if “reflecting” them. Science calls such a process reflex (translated – reflection).

We say that reflexes are performed with the participation of the nervous system, but without the participation of consciousness (the work of the cerebral cortex).

If we take a frog for experience, cut off her head, and then, having tied it behind the lower jaw (leaving it unraveled), pinch the foot, the frog will advisably retire it, as if pulling away from danger; If we drop on the same paw with acid, the frog will begin to make appropriate movements with another paw, trying to wash off the acid. There is no doubt that these appropriate actions occur without the participation of consciousness, for its brain (apparatus of consciousness and thinking) was removed in advance.

But as soon as we destroy the spinal cord to continue our experience, the frog completely stops giving appropriate answers to the given irritations and does not respond to them.

Experience with the frog is the “main” classic experience in identifying the reflex, the simplest defensive reaction is indicated here, but it is constant and regular, the answers of the body go without any environmental conditions. In this experience, the strict law of the “machine” of the reflex is revealed.

Of course, in the everyday environment of animals, the processes of their nervous activity are more complex, for which the experience on the spinal-brain drug of the frog is only a classic primitive.

In whole rows of experiments, it was found that the simplest types of mental (mental) phenomena, namely reflexes or instincts (more complex reflexes) are not related to consciousness, but occur in addition to it.

So, the central nervous system is the center of reflex and instinctive phenomena – it is from various parts of the surface of the animal and from its senses that are various sensitive nerves and from C. N. S. The corresponding motor nerves go to the muscles. This path of transmission of nervous excitement is called a reflex arc.

General concept of the theory of training stimulus and its conditional deputy

General concept of the theory of training

Now let’s touch on the briefly so-called “reasonable” activity of animals. Here, first of all, it is necessary to indicate that the previous border between the instinct and the mind in old psychology was extremely vague and slippery. So, often, as we have already said, the appropriate actions of the bitch arranging the nest necessary to preserve the genus were recognized as a very reasonable effect, since the form of expression of instinctive actions in view of their expediency is extremely similar to deliberate actions. This difficult of the tasks, namely, the definition of “rational” activities of animals, and academician I. P. Pavlov, by creating a new doctrine of conditioned reflexes. We will try to indicate its main provisions here.

The first work on conditional reflexes dates back to 1902

Studying the work of the salivary glands and making experiments on dogs, the following phenomenon was noticed: if the dog gives irritations causing saliva in the form of dry bread, the body, adapting to soften dry dog food, emits a lot of saliva. If you start giving food less dry, for example, meat, saliva will be released to a lesser extent, since the meat is watery than dry bread. In other words, the body gives an appropriate answer, secreting saliva in such quantities that is necessary exactly so that the food is soaked and convenient for swallowing.

The process of salivation follows from the general process of struggle for existence. The food that fall should be moistened with saliva in order to go through a narrow esophagus. The dry the food, the more saliva emits the body. Depending on the ” acidity” of food, the channels of the salivary glands arranged in a likeness of narrow tubules are conveyed to a saliva of different nature.

Upon receipt of “harmful substances” (acids, bitterness, etc.), the release of saliva is long-term, since there is a deep “washing” of the mouth. The same is observed when dust and sand in the mouth.

Of course, the entire indicated process in its complexity reminds us of “reasonable” actions, but this is not so, because experiments have proven that the actions of the reflex that we already know here take place. In the end, this process can be formulated as follows: “For every irritation coming from the outside world, the adapted organism gives an appropriate answer in a certain logical order, and this simplest mechanical process is called reflex. ”

The body of the animal is adapted to such actions; it is not necessary to teach the animal this reflex. The animal is born already with a ready-made mechanism, i. E. A nervous system that gives a constant identical response to the corresponding stimuli, and the accuracy of these responses is constant and unchanging. But the reflex itself does not appear; for its occurrence, an irritant (pathogen) is needed that causes this response of the body. This irritant can be: bread, a running person, the smell of meat, a gunshot, etc. ; important is the fact that the presence of a stimulus is necessary for the occurrence of a reflex. The second sign of the formation of such a reflex is the fact that the work of “consciousness” (the cerebral cortex) is absolutely not needed for its formation, and it occurs during the work of the lower parts of the central nervous system.

Ip Pavlov called such a reflex (which is obtained with the direct participation of the stimulus itself) an unconditioned reflex, in contrast to a reflex of another type, which we will discuss below.

Further, during the experiments, it was noticed that the dog began to salivate in some cases even without the presence of a direct stimulus, i. E. Not only when giving food, but at one kind of cup in which food is usually given (but saliva in such cases was released several times). Smaller).

In the same way, saliva was also secreted when the dog saw a piece of meat, but in a slightly smaller amount than during the actual process of chewing it. In the latter case, the dog, as it were, “recognizes” the meat, being aroused at its mere sight, as if “understanding” it, and expresses its excitation with the corresponding body movement.

Experience has shown that meat shown to a puppy (never before in a puppy’s mouth) does not cause a reaction and saliva does not appear; after 2-3 times of chewing meat, one kind of it already causes a response and saliva appears.

So, two types of reflexes turned out: one of them was caused by the direct presence of a stimulus, and the other was caused, as it were, by “knowledge”, by “learning”, without the presence of a direct stimulus. The first type of reflex was innate, and the second was acquired (“learned”).

The 5 Learning Theories

Further, the experiments made the following phenomenon: if the dog, giving food, constantly connect this moment with the blow of the bell, then after 10-15 such simultaneous actions, with one hit of the bell, without food, the dog will flow in saliva, that is, the reflex will turn out, being caused not by a direct stimulus (food), but his conditional deputy (call). Thus, to obtain a second type reflex, it is necessary that the new stimulus (call), previously indifferent to the dog and not causing salivation, would be produced simultaneously several times with the old irritant (meat), directly provoking the unconditional reflex known to us.

Such a new type of reflex I. P. Pavlov called the conditional reflex, since its occurrence is dependent on the presence of some prerequisite (for example: type of food).

Obtaining this kind of reflex can be due not only to a call, but by any symbol; So, you can connect the cottage of food with the ignition of a red bulb, with the sound of a whistle, with the cottage of a certain command and with all these conditional pathogens after a series of repeated simultaneous actions associated with the direct unconditional pathogen, a conditioned reflex was obtained.

The “vulgar”, unsuccessful, philistine language formulates this usually like this: the dog “remembers” that food is always given with the sound of the bell, and when the dog “knows” the bell, which will now give her food. Yes, in our dormitory conversation this is so, in fact, the scientific-clay-explained process of the formation of conditioned reflexes is as follows: since the unconditional reflex is obtained without the participation of consciousness, the well-being of a well-made conditional reflex is obtained only in the presence of the work of the cerebral hemispheres: it is only worth taking them away, like everything is artificially artificialRaised conditioned reflexes disappear.

Conditional pathogens can be various visual, taste, olfactory, sound and tactile signals; A number of conditional relationships (conditioned reflexes) establishes on the life paths of the animal – everyday experience “there is a typical example of the formation of a chain of conditional reflexes. “

But having deprived the animal, through a complex surgical operation, large hemispheres of the brain, we will see the complete loss of all conditional reflexes without exception. Everything that was acquired, everything is destroyed, remains only that which was innate.

An adult dog becomes, in its behavior, a small puppy, but with a worse future, having lost the ability to “mentally develop. “The processes of nutrition and other innate reflexes, however, continue to serve the animal to the fullest extent.

Science has established that the organ for the formation of conditioned reflexes is the cortex of the cerebral hemispheres, that artificial connections are established only in it. Her disease carries “forgetfulness”, memory loss and a number of other phenomena, under the general name of “mental illness”.

When a dog sees a bowl it has never eaten from, the visual arousal is still not strong enough and therefore quickly disappears. When a dog sees the same bowl and eats the food Down in it (i. E. Associates the appearance of the bowl with the process of irritation received from food), then in the presence of such a strong stimulus, excitation from the oral cavity rises to consciousness, and the food center in a certain area of ​​the braincomes also into great excitement; The excitation received in this center of the brain diverges along the nerve cells, going towards the weak visual excitation that arose at the sight of meat and a bowl, and meets with it. Repeating such a process several times will produce the so-called “closure” of the conditional connection between visual irritation (the appearance of a bowl) and the sensation of meat in the mouth, as a result of which saliva is released.

So, the conditioned reflex is created by the artificial establishment of a connection, while the unconditioned reflex occurs naturally.

Let us sum up briefly: the simplest acts of the mental activity of animals will be unconditioned reflexes, which are in essence the simplest obligatory responses of the organism to environmental phenomena. By their nature, they are divided into three main types: 1) feeding reflexes: “grasping” reflex to food, sucking reflex, salivation, 2) self-preservation reflexes, protective (eye blinking, etc. 3) reproduction reflexes (sexual reflexes). (Instincts, i. E. Complexes of unconditioned reflexes, are also divided by their nature into the indicated groups. In addition, there is also an orienting reflex (see below).).

An approximate diagram of the process of evolution of the mental abilities of organisms is as follows:

1) simple, unconditioned reflexes;

2) complex, unconditioned reflexes (instincts);

3) conditioned reflexes of the first order;

4) conditioned reflexes of the second order;

5) complex conditioned reflexes of higher orders.

So, the last type of mental activity of animals after simple, unconditional reflexes and more complex reflexes called “instincts” are artificially brought up by establishing a conditional connection between the direct stimulus and its conditional deputy are conditional reflexes, the work of which, according to the old terminology, It is determined by “memories”, “associations”, i. E. A communication installation, etc.

This last type of mental phenomena is what we are used to understanding by the word “mind”, “consciousness” and “thinking”.

Conditional reflexes, brought up in the way, in which the symbol was associated with the direct pathogen, are called conditional reflexes of the first order; So, for example, in the dog that allocates saliva at the sight of meat, a reflex of the 1st order was brought up, because for the formation of it was the connection of visual excitement (type of meat) with taste (meat in the mouth), and the latter was the direct pathogen, i. E.. Causing an unconditional reflex.

In the future, you can do this: you can type of meat, already causing a conditional reflex without a direct pathogen – meat in the mouth, to associate with a call, and a new conditional reflex to the call will still turn out after a series of repetitions, but not in the first time as the first time as for the first time. This new education is called the conditional reflex of the II Order.

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