Catatonic Cat

iulie 14, 2009 § Scrie un comentariu

“For hours she sat in her corner, staring silently into space, her pupils dilated, her heart pounding, her breathing labored. She shunned her old friends, refused to eat for days at a time. Occasionally she became agitated or infantile and kittenish. But often she just sat, in a catatonic stupor, brooding and lonely, quiet as a cat. In fact, she was a cat. She was a typical example of some 200 animals made neurotic by University of Chicago Psychoanalyst Jules H. Masserman in the last three years.

Working on a grant from the Otho Sprague Institute, Dr. Masserman rigged up an automatic feeding apparatus which dropped some food into the feedbox of a glass cage every time a light flashed on. After the cats were conditioned to associate light with food, he shot a harmless blast of air into the cage at the moment the cat reached for the lid. After repeated frustrations the animals associated the feedbox and signal light with fear. Frustration and the conflict between hunger and fright drove the cats quietly mad.

They developed “anxiety neuroses,” their fur stood on end, they crouched, they trembled. Some refused to eat, or became food faddists. Some became catatonic cats.”

a bit more ici

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