Modifying body schemata in skinks Tiliqua gigas



Body schemata in skinks Tiliqua gigas were studied using a procedure in which the animals had to take into account the enlarged limits of their bodies while finding way through the holes of different diameters in the experimental setup. The skinks were demonstrated the ability to learn to take into account the natural limits of their bodies when interacting with environmental objects, and, when the limits of their bodies were changed, to modify the body schema, that is, to take into account the increase in their body size for orientation in the environment. The experimental index of the schema modification was the reduction of number of unsuccessful attempts to put the head into the holes through which their previously unmodified body could penetrate. The skinks also demonstrated the ability to transfer the previously formed habit to a new situation with changed positions of the holes.

General Information

Keywords: phylogeny of the psyche, self-reflection, body scheme, insects, rats, reptiles, lizards, skinks Tiliqua gigas

Journal rubric: Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Khvatov I.A., Sokolov A.Y., Kharitonov A.N. Modifying body schemata in skinks Tiliqua gigas. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2016. Vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 54–71. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2016090305. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Ivan A. Khvatov, PhD in Psychology, Head, Center for Research and Education in Biopsychology and Chair of General Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexey Y. Sokolov, PhD in Biology, Chief Research Scientist, Center for Science and Educational of Biopsychological Research, Moscow Institute of psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexandr N. Kharitonov, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Scientific and Educational Center for Biopsychological Research, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis (NOCHU VO “Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis”); Leading Researcher at the Center for Experimental Psychology, Moscow State Psychological and Pedagogical University (FSBEI HE MGPPU), Deputy editor-in-chief of the scientific journal "Experimental Psychology", Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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