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Specific self-reflexion in cockroach Periplaneta americana 1179
An experimental study of cockroaches Periplaneta americana behavior in the maze reveals some specific aspects of their body limits perception. When using a special technique the cockroach body size is enlarged to such an extent that prevents passing the maze along the already learned trajectory, the animals are capable of forming a new learning adequate to the situational changes. However, the insects demonstrate qualitatively similar behavior in a situation when hindrance is created not by changing their body shape, but by partial obstruction of the openings in the maze. Our interpretation of this fact is that the cockroaches’ mental images of self-reflexion and reflexion of the environment are linked so closely that the animals, subjectively, are not able to distinguish between changes to their own body and those in the external environment.
Keywords: reflexion, self-reflexion, reflexion of the environment, evolutionary psychology, self-concept, cockroach
Column: Comparative Psychology