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Simone Shane's picture

The Internal and External

I'm also inclined to agree with rdelacruz that the lack of output when an output is generally expected should be considered a type of output, as there must be some reason for the output's absence. For example, a neuron, or input/output box, may still receive the message to do the output, but also be receiving a stronger inhibitory message. Thus, it is not as if the input elicited nothing, its elicitation just did not go as far to cause the end behavior, or output. As people were arguing for internal inputs above, can we have internal outputs as well? Would a type of internal output be unconscious learning, such as muscle memory? Indeed, learning is the growing and strengthening of neuronal connections, but do we consider that a behavior? Moreover, perhaps these outputs which were inhibited before they could result in an external output messed with the output of some other input? Therefore, could you not say that the internal output affected an external output? Sorry if this isn't coherent.

Another idea: Maybe a female cricket did not turn towards the male's chirp because she saw a scary spider in his direction and then learned to fear that specific male's chirp through conditioning. Could we then say that there was an output, albeit delayed and the result of other factors as well?

I'm not so sure how I feel about internal inputs. I'm curious as to what makes previous thoughts that have nothing to do with your current environment pop into consciousness? Could it be a delayed output and therefore the effect of an external output, or something purely internal? I cannot, however, think of what this internal something might be. Jessica Krueger spoke to the importance of ontogenetic and phylogenetic histories when analyzing behavior. Could these histories be enough to cause behavior without an even latent external cue? I have difficulty thinking so, but I'd be eager to hear others' thoughts!


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