Lorenz's "motivation" & upregulation

x011 at Lehigh.EDU x011 at Lehigh.EDU
Tue Apr 25 08:09:02 EST 1995

In article <3ngjvg$4dc at geraldo.cc.utexas.edu>, B. L. T. writes:
>       I am trying to find out if there has been any study of receptor
>regulation among neurons concerned with certain behavioral repertoires.
>There is an old and now defunct metaphor proposed by Konrad Lorenz that
>certain behaviors are controlled by "motivation" similar to an old-style
>flush toilet.  Such that as time progresses since the last time the
>behavior was produced, the motivation toward performing that behavior
>increases.  Such that, the longer the period between behaviors the
>smaller the stimulus necessary to elicit that behavior, via the increased
>motivation.  This argument was used as an attempt to describe why some
>animals appear to be "behaving out of context".  The classic e.g. is of a
>captive squirrel attempting to bury a nut that doesn't exist.  With
>receptor upregulation in mind, is it possible that Lorenz may not have
>been that far off, that "motivation" could be the amount of stimulating
>neurotransmitter neccessary to elicit a response?  So with time an
>upregulation of the receptors requires less stimulus (normally insufficient
>or marginal) to get the behavior.  Does anyone know of any such research
>concerning receptor regulation among "behaving" neural networks (as
>opposed to say the sensory-motor system where this has been rather well
>studied)?  I was thinking regions of the lymbic system such the amygdala
>would be a relevant site of study.
Well yes, but none I can quote off hand.  Try this for the next 5 minutes
do not think the word SEX.  You will notice that after the five minutes
is up you will think sex at higher frequencies as if to make up for not
thinking sex.  So the stimuli required to trigger an old learned behavior
is small and the memory is ready for activation.
A better model would be a row of dominos on a table that
is slowly being raise with the passage of time, so that a small
movement quickly causes them to fall.  Ron Blue x011 at lehigh.edu

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