Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


  • Androulla Ioannou
  • Xenia Anastassiou-HadjicharalambousEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1034-1



Upon the cessation of repetitive strong stimulation, the spontaneous elicitation of a response occurs, in the absence of any stimulus. Also as the literal name suggests, a small spark applied to some wood will flare up and eventually grow into a big fire.


Kindling became known to the scientific world in the late 1960s through the published work of Goddard (1967) on the neurobiology of learning and later after the application of Goddard’s model on the study of epilepsy.

The Kindling Phenomenon Demonstrated Experimentally

Goddard (1967) runs a series of experiments on rats where, in order to investigate their abilities to learn tasks, he administered electrical stimulations in various regions of their brains. With daily repetition of the electrical stimuli, the rats began seizing. That response, however, was astonishing, as the administered stimuli were too low to induce seizures. Even more surprising was the final observation of the rats...

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  1. Dennison, Z., Teskey, G. C., & Cain, D. P. (1995). Persistence of kindling: Effect of partial kindling, retention interval, kindling site, and stimulation parameters. Epilepsy Research, 21(3), 171–182.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Goddard, G. V. (1967). Development of epileptic seizures through brain stimulation at low intensity. Nature, 214(5092), 1020–1021.  https://doi.org/10.1038/2141020a0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Post, R. M. (2007). Kindling and sensitization as models for affective episode recurrence, cyclicity, and tolerance phenomena. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 31(6), 858–873.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Racine, R. (1978). Kindling: The first decade. Neurosurgery, 3(2), 234–252.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Androulla Ioannou
    • 1
  • Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus