Comments on Instinctive Behavior, Neural Systems and Reinforcement Mechanisms

  • D. Ploog
Conference paper
Part of the Bayer-Symposium book series (BAYER-SYMP, volume 4)


This brief comment on psychic dependence is speculative and will be centered around four questions:
  1. 1.

    Can the concept of instinctive behavior or, for that matter, the concept of drives, promote our understanding of addictive behavior in animals and man?

  2. 2.

    If such concepts are useful in this regard, we may ask whether the cerebral structures that are thought to mediate instinctive behavior are also involved in the formation and maintenance of addictive behavior.

  3. 3.

    The third question is concerned with reinforcement and learning. How is the concept of reinforcement linked with the concept of drives, and

  4. 4.

    how do the cerebral structures which are involved in reinforcement mechanisms relate to the structures which mediate instinctive behavior.



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  2. Clark, W. E. L. et al.: Hypothalamus, Morphological, Functional, Clinical and Surgical Aspects. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd 1938.Google Scholar
  3. JÜrgens, U.: Cerebral Stimulation by Remote Control — A New Method in Experimental Behavioural Research. Image Roche 1970.Google Scholar
  4. Ploog, D.: Social communication among primates. In: F. O. Schmitt (Ed.), The Neurosciences, The Rockefeller University Press, New York 1970.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Ploog
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für PsychiatrieMünchen 40W. Germany

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