Adaptive Dynamics

The Theoretical Analysis of Behavior

In this book J.E.R. Staddon proposes an explanation of behavior that lies between cognitive psychology, which seeks to explain it in terms of mentalistic constructs, and cognitive neuroscience, which tries to explain it in terms of the brain. Staddon suggests a new way to understand the laws and causes of learning, based on the invention, comparison, testing, and modification or rejection of parsimonious real-time models for behavior. The models are neither physiological nor cognitive: they are behavioristic. Staddon shows how simple dynamic models can explain a surprising variety of animal and human behavior, ranging from simple orientation, reflexes, and habituation through feeding regulation, operant conditioning, spatial navigation, stimulus generalization, and interval timing.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. 1. Theoretical Behaviorism: Aim and Methods
  4. 2. Adaptive Function, I: The Allocation of Behavior
  5. 3. Adaptive Function, II: Behavioral Economics
  6. 4. Trial and Error
  7. 5. Reflexes
  8. 6. Habituation and Memory Dynamics
  9. 7. Motivation, I: Feeding Dynamics and Homeostasis
  10. 8. Motivation, II: A Model for Feeding Dynamics
  11. 9. Motivation, III: Incentive and Schedule Effects
  12. 10. Assignment of Credit
  13. 11. Stimulus Control
  14. 12. Spatial Search
  15. 13. Times, I: Pacemaker-Accumulator Models
  16. 14. Time, II: Multiple-Time-Scale Theory
  17. 15. Times, III: MTS and Time Estimation
  18. 16. Afterword
  19. Notes
  20. References
  21. Index