The pseudoscientific nonsense of behaviorists

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: July 21, 2015

Neural Representations of Unconditioned Stimuli in Basolateral Amygdala Mediate Innate and Learned Responses

Excerpt from their summary:

…we establish that the activation of US-responsive cells in the BLA is necessary for the expression of a conditioned response. Neural representations of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli therefore ultimately connect to US-responsive cells in the BLA to elicit both innate and learned responses.

My comment: They link the innate ability to respond to epigenetic effects of odors to the learned ability to respond to foot shocks. See for comparison.

Pheromones and embodied cognition vs pet tricks


…the contingencies of tone and foot-shock pairing clearly distinguish epigenetically-effected classical (Pavlovian) conditioning from the “recognition” you attribute to operant conditioning.
For example, in our award-winning review, Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, we portrayed what you infer is “recognition” as a form of adaptively evolved embodied cognition. Clearly, the molecular mechanisms of stimulus control (the biological basis for all behavior) are epigenetically effected by food odors and social odors.

My comment: Richard Axel’s group has now linked the molecular epigenetics of de novo olfactory receptor gene creation to tone and foot-shock pairing. Experience-dependent de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes clearly places responses to other sensory input into the context of their origins in microbes.
The behavior of species from microbes to man nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled. Conditioned responses occur due to the conserved molecular mechanisms of biophysically constrained nutrient dependent RNA-mediated protein folding chemistry.
That fact allows ongoing comparisons to the “stupid pet tricks” approach of behaviorists.

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