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Biological Research

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SERANI-MERLO, ALEJANDRO; PAZ, RODRIGO  and  CASTILLO, ANDRÉS. The 'whole-animal approach' as a heuristic principle in neuroscience research. Biol. Res. [online]. 2005, vol.38, n.4, pp.359-364. ISSN 0716-9760.

Neuroscience embraces a heterogeneous group of disciplines. A conceptual framework that allows a better articulation of these different theoretical and experimental perspectives is needed. A `whole-animal approach' is proposed as a theoretical and hermeneutic tool. To illustrate the potential of this point of view, an overview of the research that has been performed in the extinction of fear-conditioned responses from Pavlov to the present is discussed. This is an example of how a whole-animal-based approach may help to organize and integrate basic and clinical neuroscience research. Our proposal is in agreement with recent statements calling for more integrative approaches in biological and neuropsychiatric research

Keywords : epistemology; neurophilosophy; fear conditioning; extinction; reductionism.

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