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July 27, 1963

Inhibition and choice; a neurobehavioral approach to problems of plasticity in behavior

JAMA. 1963;185(4):335. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060040119053

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Written by three psychologists, this book attempts to outline the role of neural inhibitory processes in the whole spectrum of animal behavior from the paramecium to man under all circumstances from sleep to abstract thought, including various conditions such as development, mental defect, behavior problems, anxiety states, and the like. Reacting against the inadequate stimulus-response-oriented view which has dominated the approach of psychologists to problems of behavior for many years, the authors seek equal recognition of inhibition as an indispensable and physiologically established factor in almost every function of the living organism. Excitability, they emphasize, is of very limited value to any organism without a counter-balancing inhibitory mechanism by which excitable properties can be controlled adaptively.

The authors are not the first to point out the central role of inhibition in neurophysiology or psychology, but their book is one of the first extensive publications which attempts to reorient the reader

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