On the Ethology of Pain, its Experience and Expression

  • J. A. R. A. M. Van Hooff


The question whether animals experience pain has found different answers. The question cannot be answered in as far as it deals with the aspect of subjective experience; this is unaccessible to empirical investigation, for fundamental reasons. Most scientists, however, will accept a ‘postulate of homology’: because sensory and neural processes and structures are organised in essentially similar ways, at least in mammals, they feel bound to assume that these animals know experiences that are homologous to ours, also with respect to the sensation of pain (20). A more modest approach is to investigate the behavioural responses to damaging influences.


Unconditional Stimulus Expression Movement Active Avoidance Conditioning Primary Pain Behavioural Routine 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1988

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  • J. A. R. A. M. Van Hooff

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