Spuren im Labyrinth

Translated title of the contribution: Tracks in the Maze

Juliet MacDonald, Matthias Naumann (Translator)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Spuren im Labyrinth
Translated to German by Matthias Naumann.

Tracks in the Maze
In this article I discuss early experiments in Comparative Psychology that used mazes to test the route learning ability of animals, particularly rats and mice, in the first half of the twentieth century in the United States. The article will begin with a description of the first mazes designed to test the decision-making and "home-finding" ability of rats, conducted by psychologist Willard Small at Clark University in the 1890s. Small's diagram of the "Hampton Court Maze" was reprinted in subsequent textbooks of comparative psychology and became the starting point for a proliferation in maze experiments with increasingly elaborate configurations of corridors and chambers. Movements of the animals inside these devices were sometimes recorded as drawn lines, within the diagram of the maze. I intend to argue that the spatial configuration of the maze allowed limited scope for movement for the animals inside, whereas the overhead perspective of the scientist enabled a privileged view of the whole set up.
I indicate the epistemological implications of this, i.e. how such experiments act as devices of control and containment, by positioning animals as objects of knowledge surveyed from above rather than subjects of experience. The article highlights the changing attitudes in comparative psychology after Small (who was interested in the mental process of the rats he tested), toward the increasingly Behaviorist attitude of subsequent experimenters of the 1930s and 1940s.
I also discuss the way in which spatial arrangements of the maze are depicted in two-dimensional form in diagrams and publications of the period. I particularly note the contrast between the tracks of the animals, and the outlines and geometry of the devices in which they are enclosed.
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)28-42
Number of pages15
JournalTierstudien
Volume6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Maze
Animals
Rat
Experiment
Diagrams
Comparative Psychology
Containment
Geometry
1930s
Experimenter
Positioning
Textbooks
Hampton Court
1890s
Decision Making
1940s
Mouse
Epistemological
Mental Processes
Labyrinth

Cite this

MacDonald, J., & Naumann, M., (TRANS.) (2014). Spuren im Labyrinth. Tierstudien , 6, 28-42.
MacDonald, Juliet ; Naumann, Matthias. / Spuren im Labyrinth. In: Tierstudien . 2014 ; Vol. 6. pp. 28-42.
@article{52961ddc58bd41e798a427bd5f4519f8,
title = "Spuren im Labyrinth",
abstract = "Spuren im Labyrinth Translated to German by Matthias Naumann.Tracks in the MazeIn this article I discuss early experiments in Comparative Psychology that used mazes to test the route learning ability of animals, particularly rats and mice, in the first half of the twentieth century in the United States. The article will begin with a description of the first mazes designed to test the decision-making and {"}home-finding{"} ability of rats, conducted by psychologist Willard Small at Clark University in the 1890s. Small's diagram of the {"}Hampton Court Maze{"} was reprinted in subsequent textbooks of comparative psychology and became the starting point for a proliferation in maze experiments with increasingly elaborate configurations of corridors and chambers. Movements of the animals inside these devices were sometimes recorded as drawn lines, within the diagram of the maze. I intend to argue that the spatial configuration of the maze allowed limited scope for movement for the animals inside, whereas the overhead perspective of the scientist enabled a privileged view of the whole set up. I indicate the epistemological implications of this, i.e. how such experiments act as devices of control and containment, by positioning animals as objects of knowledge surveyed from above rather than subjects of experience. The article highlights the changing attitudes in comparative psychology after Small (who was interested in the mental process of the rats he tested), toward the increasingly Behaviorist attitude of subsequent experimenters of the 1930s and 1940s.I also discuss the way in which spatial arrangements of the maze are depicted in two-dimensional form in diagrams and publications of the period. I particularly note the contrast between the tracks of the animals, and the outlines and geometry of the devices in which they are enclosed.",
keywords = "animal, diagram, rat, maze",
author = "Juliet MacDonald and Matthias Naumann",
year = "2014",
language = "German",
volume = "6",
pages = "28--42",
journal = "Tierstudien",
issn = "2193-8504",

}

MacDonald, J 2014, 'Spuren im Labyrinth', Tierstudien , vol. 6, pp. 28-42.

Spuren im Labyrinth. / MacDonald, Juliet; Naumann, Matthias (Translator).

In: Tierstudien , Vol. 6, 2014, p. 28-42.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Spuren im Labyrinth

AU - MacDonald, Juliet

A2 - Naumann, Matthias

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Spuren im Labyrinth Translated to German by Matthias Naumann.Tracks in the MazeIn this article I discuss early experiments in Comparative Psychology that used mazes to test the route learning ability of animals, particularly rats and mice, in the first half of the twentieth century in the United States. The article will begin with a description of the first mazes designed to test the decision-making and "home-finding" ability of rats, conducted by psychologist Willard Small at Clark University in the 1890s. Small's diagram of the "Hampton Court Maze" was reprinted in subsequent textbooks of comparative psychology and became the starting point for a proliferation in maze experiments with increasingly elaborate configurations of corridors and chambers. Movements of the animals inside these devices were sometimes recorded as drawn lines, within the diagram of the maze. I intend to argue that the spatial configuration of the maze allowed limited scope for movement for the animals inside, whereas the overhead perspective of the scientist enabled a privileged view of the whole set up. I indicate the epistemological implications of this, i.e. how such experiments act as devices of control and containment, by positioning animals as objects of knowledge surveyed from above rather than subjects of experience. The article highlights the changing attitudes in comparative psychology after Small (who was interested in the mental process of the rats he tested), toward the increasingly Behaviorist attitude of subsequent experimenters of the 1930s and 1940s.I also discuss the way in which spatial arrangements of the maze are depicted in two-dimensional form in diagrams and publications of the period. I particularly note the contrast between the tracks of the animals, and the outlines and geometry of the devices in which they are enclosed.

AB - Spuren im Labyrinth Translated to German by Matthias Naumann.Tracks in the MazeIn this article I discuss early experiments in Comparative Psychology that used mazes to test the route learning ability of animals, particularly rats and mice, in the first half of the twentieth century in the United States. The article will begin with a description of the first mazes designed to test the decision-making and "home-finding" ability of rats, conducted by psychologist Willard Small at Clark University in the 1890s. Small's diagram of the "Hampton Court Maze" was reprinted in subsequent textbooks of comparative psychology and became the starting point for a proliferation in maze experiments with increasingly elaborate configurations of corridors and chambers. Movements of the animals inside these devices were sometimes recorded as drawn lines, within the diagram of the maze. I intend to argue that the spatial configuration of the maze allowed limited scope for movement for the animals inside, whereas the overhead perspective of the scientist enabled a privileged view of the whole set up. I indicate the epistemological implications of this, i.e. how such experiments act as devices of control and containment, by positioning animals as objects of knowledge surveyed from above rather than subjects of experience. The article highlights the changing attitudes in comparative psychology after Small (who was interested in the mental process of the rats he tested), toward the increasingly Behaviorist attitude of subsequent experimenters of the 1930s and 1940s.I also discuss the way in which spatial arrangements of the maze are depicted in two-dimensional form in diagrams and publications of the period. I particularly note the contrast between the tracks of the animals, and the outlines and geometry of the devices in which they are enclosed.

KW - animal

KW - diagram

KW - rat

KW - maze

UR - https://www.neofelis-verlag.de/animal-studies/tierstudien/062014-tiere-und-raum/

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 28

EP - 42

JO - Tierstudien

JF - Tierstudien

SN - 2193-8504

ER -

MacDonald J, Naumann M. Spuren im Labyrinth. Tierstudien . 2014;6:28-42.