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Behavior as discourse: A structural analysis of the feeding behavior of laboratory rats

Domenii publicaţii > Biologie + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: A.G. Rusu, I.M. Benta

Editorial: Noldus Information Technology b.v, Measuring Behavior 2000, 3rd International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research, 2000.


Ethologists usually study feeding behavior of rats and animal behavior in general mainly at population level and emphasize aspects of intra-colonial learning and inter-individual informational exchange. Therefore, studies of intra-individual strategies and inner structure of behavior are less frequent . In most of such studies, classification systems and mathematical data processing of sequences as units of behavior, are based on the researcher’s own operational system. In our experiment on feeding behavior at laboratory rats, we first tried to adapt the taxonomic systems used by some authors, to a functional goal-oriented perspective. Secondly, we applied methods used in sociometry and social psychology to the analysis of behavior sequential chains, which we have represented by transition matrices of dyad successions. We found parameters that reflect the dynamics of learning process and can be used as indicators of sexual behavioral dimorphism. On the other hand, these parameters support a ‘structuralist’ view of behavior. According to this view, one can consider a sequential chain as a ‘syntagm’ and therefore, look for its inner ‘grammar’; i.e. its internal regularity that should transcend inter-individual differences of strategy.

Cuvinte cheie: analiza comportamentala, analiza secventiala, sctructuralism // behaviour analysis, sequential analysis, structuralism