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June 1925

SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE SELF-STIMULATION HABITS OF YOUNG WILD ANIMALS

Author Affiliations

BALTIMORE

From the Department of Psychobiology, Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1925;13(6):724-728. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1925.02200120045003

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Abstract

During the past summer in Panama I had opportunity to make a few observations on several forms of self-stimulation habits of three wild animals: a coatimundi, a kinkajou and a spider monkey. I had become accustomed to consider self-stimulation habits as confined to the human race in the form of thumb and finger sucking and erotic habits. It was therefore of considerable interest to observe these habits in young wild animals, all of which had started their lives in the jungle. It may be that some of our difficulties in understanding such self-stimulation habits in human beings are due to failure to consider their general biologic setting. It is hoped that the present limited observations may stimulate an attack on these problems from a more biologic point of view.

The first animal was a young female coatimundi. It belongs to a group called "small bears" by the Germans. These animals

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