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October 8, 1932


JAMA. 1932;99(15):1265-1266. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740670053017

There are many factors influencing the complex behavior of man. In an organism in which activity is so largely conditioned through the higher nerve centers, the separation of factors and the appropriate allocation to them of influence on behavior becomes extremely difficult. Thus the investigator has turned to some of the commonly available experimental animals for an answer to the questions concerning the effect of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors on behavior. Not only are their action patterns apparently less complicated than are those of man, but in certain species the complete life cycle is short and such environmental conditions as temperature, humidity and food can readily be controlled. The results of an extensive study of the relation of age and nutritive condition to performance of the albino rat have recently been reported by Anderson and Smith,1 and their observations, based on a statistical analysis of the data, are

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