This thesis has placed especial emphasis upon
the nature of IRT generation within a DRLLH schedule.
Perhaps an interested reader may turn to the serial
probabilities listed in the Computer Appendices and
uncover relationships which were left undetected by the
present author. The use of the high speed digital
computer in the analysis of IRT data should open up a whole new vista for the experimental analysis of behaviour.
Unfortunately, as with all sophisticated equipment, the
computer is a perpetual source of reinforcement and
psychology will have to contend with yet another revolution.
The computer revolution may be typified by the nonchalant
application of wasteful and inappropriate mathematical
techniques worked out at great speed and expense and
with an appropriate lack of experimenter participation.
However, simple probability calculations derived from
serial IRT data should provide a host of new experimental
ideas and explanations for the behavioural scientist.
At present, the use of operant techniques in
pharmacological research is accelerating and may herald
one of the most rewarding areas for interdisciplinary
research. There is unfortunately no such thing as interdisciplinary science, there are only interdisciplinary
scientists. It is pure fiction to imagine groups of
of psychologists, pharmacologists, biochemists,
physicists, mathematicians and clinicians all working
productively and in perfect - harmony.
It is necessary to have an interdisciplinary mind
in order to pose a meaningful interdisciplinary question
and the formulation of that question is such, that only a scientist of wide experience can understand the terms of
reference and in turn question the primary assumptions.
This situation illustrates a peculiar virtue of interdisciplinary study in that a practitioner in one scientific
discipline may be, through his inability to comprehend the
traditions and approaches of another science, able to
question its basic postulates and reformulate its
problems in a new and useful way. As yet, psychologists
have not made such a contribution to pharmacology.
Recent developments in psychopharmacology have
favoured the appearance of so- called pretreatment experiments.
That is, the modification of drug effects by prior
treatment with other pharmacological agents. The most
popular pretreatment compounds have been the MAOIs and on
the basis of the pretreatment effect it is possible
to hypothesise as to the nature of the pharmacological
activity of the compound under investigation. A great
deal of spurious theory and subsequent sterility of
experimentation has arisen from the fact that some behavioural pharmacologists understand little
about MAO and even less about drug receptor interaction.
MAO was discovered in 1928 and still, the best preparation
of the enzyme are impure and we know nothing of its kinetics
or cofactor. It may even be a combination of many enzymes,
but all we know is that the oxidation can be inhibited
by certain compounds (MAOIs). As regards the receptor
site, Paton (1967) has reviewed the relevant literature
"This situation has made me become
increasingly dubious whether we can with confidence make answers
even to the simplest questions
about the interaction of sympathetic
amines with their receptors ".
The pharmacologist may turn to a physiologist for
advice about the stability and sensitivity of his rat
fundus strip, or other bioassay preparation. It is the
function of the behavioural scientist to ensure that the
pharmacologist can turn to him for information about