Brain and Behavior

Motor Behavior and Intentional Action

What are fixed action patterns and what do they tell us about our “animal instincts”?

A fixed action pattern is a genetically-coded behavioral sequence that is triggered by specific stimuli. Fixed action patterns are analogous to animal “instincts” and are mediated by the basal ganglia. The behavior is fixed and relatively unmodifiable. There is very little goal correction; the behavior is a set response to a set stimulus.


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