Evolution and General Process Theories of Habituation.
ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT KNOX KY
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Twenty-nine existing theories of habituation were reviewed briefly and classified under one of three general categories general-conceptual, brain structuresneural systems, or synaptic modifications. Most of these theories were characterized as general process in nature, and their major underlying assumptions were found to be faulty in certain fundamental respects. An alternative theoretical framework was proposed, in which habituation and its associated underlying mechanisms are viewed as specific evolutionary elaborations resulting from specific selection pressures acting upon the physiological systems underlying a given response. Finally, the conceptual and methodological implications of the evolutionary approach, and its advantages, were discussed. Author