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Abstract

Four experiments using territorial Convict Cichlids investigated motivational factors involved in the incremental and decremental processes associated with aggression resulting from exposure to conspecifics intruded into the territory. The first three experiments varied some single aspect of the experimental situation (temperature, distance from the nest or size of the intruder). The fourth experiment combined those factors which resulted in faster habituation (small intruder, far from the nest, in cool water) and compared the response to factors which resulted in slower habituation or an increase in response rate (large intruder, close to the nest in warm water). While a combination of higher intensity stimuli did result in slower habituation than the combination of lower intensity stimuli, response rate was not a simple algebraic summation of the factors. Results are discussed in relation to multi-factor theory of habituation and the nature of “drive”.