By Clark L. Hull
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Extra info for Principles of Behavior: An Introduction to Behavior Theory
17). It has also been pointed out (p. 18) that if the action of organisms is to facilitate survival, movement must vary in an intimate manner not only with the state of the need but with the exact state of both the internal and the external environment at the instant of action occurrence. This means that the survival of the organism usually requires a precise integration of the animal's motor organs with its environment. The means whereby the various stimulating energies of the environ- ment are mediated to the nervous system, the central integrating mechanism of organisms, must therefore be examined.
This is to regard, from time to time, the behaving organism as a completely self-maintaining robot, constructed of materials as unlike ourselves as may be. In doing this it is not necessary to attempt the solution of the detailed engineering problems connected with the design of such a creature. It is a wholesome and revealing exercise, however, to consider the various general problems in behavior dynamics which must be solved in the design of a truly self-maintaining robot. We, in common with other mammals, perform innumerable behavior adaptations with such ease that it is apt never to occur to us that any problem of explanation exists concerning them.
We proceed now to a brief survey of the more important of these receptors, with special reference to the biological function performed by each. Biologically, one of the most primitive and necessary of the receptors is that responsive to contact or mechanical pressure. PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor 34 PRINCIPLES OF BEHAVIOR The end organs are appropriately located in the skin or membranes susceptible to contact. An interesting extension of the contact receptor system beyond the surface of the organism is brought about by the fact that on the hairy parts the touch receptor is placed at the base of the hairs in such a way that when the shaft of hair is moved the receptor is activated.