Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chapter Two, Part Two

Dr. Speransky was on the floor, another point should be mentioned. He did not know how he had gotten here but it is possible that the experimental conditions described may raise somewhere the objection of being abnormal and artificial. It is possible. It had stopped jumping up and down.

In the darkness, Speransky knew that all the stimuli, except the scale of tones, had never been reinforced. He could feel a blanket, which made him think this person was probably Dr. Pavlova.

She was determined to test whether these conditioned accessory reflexes to auditory stimuli in general would still be present at the time of absence of the specific reflexes to these stimuli.

Someone was at his left. He thought this was Dr. Bikov, but he wasn’t sure. On transforming the reflexes again into simultaneous ones the conditioned inhibition was almost completely dis-inhibited after only three repetitions of the simultaneous reinforcement. Crumbling and grinding sounds were still coming from the walls and from the ceiling above, but the large chunks of concrete had stopped falling. Somewhere Dr. Foursikov was whispering,“Electric lamp…Whistle…Tactile…Metronome…Electric lamp…Whistle...Tactile…Metronome.” This whisper faded slowly into silence.

Speransky heard Dr. Zimzum exclaim, extremely quickly, “functional exhaustion, but which is a result of exhaustion! I haven’t seen you in such a long time, not since…not since the alimentary conditioned reflex remained entirely without effect.” Alarm grew in the voice. “What are you doing here, functional exhaustion, but which is a result of exhaustion? Didn’t the alimentary conditioned reflex remain entirely without effect?” The alarm in the voice changed to a happy wonder. Then the wonder was gone. So was the voice.

“Pavlova?”

“Yes.”

“You’re on top of me. Get off.”

1 comment:

Jen said...

Nicely disconcerting and disorienting.