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A Note On the Classification of Elementary Behaviour Patterns

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A short review of recent studies on elementary behaviour patterns in non-directional gradients shows that adaptation plays an important part in kinetic responses and that the speed and activity components of orthokinesis may or may not be associated. An expanded classification of kineses into those with and without adaptation is proposed. Within these categories it is suggested that the three components of speed, activity and turning should be separately recognised. More generalised definitions of klinotaxis and tropotaxis are proposed. Klinotaxis is regarded as an orienting pattern in which successive comparisons of stimulation intensities are made; tropotaxis as a pattern in which there is simultaneous comparison of stimulating intensities. Not all 'shock reactions' can be regarded as extreme cases of klinokinesis with adaptation and a new category of reaction made at a boundary is defined. This is characterised by a slowing or cessation of movement followed by some tactic mechanism of orientation. The name titubant reaction is proposed. This reaction does not itself lead to orientation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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