“Neurotic aberrations can be caused when patterns of behavior come into conflict either because they arise from incompatible needs, or because they cannot coexist in space and time. Cat neuroses were experimentally produced by first training animals to obtain food by manipulating a switch that deposited a pellet of food in the food-box. After a cat had become thoroughly accustomed to this procedure, a harmless jet of air was flicked across its nose as it lifted the lid of the food-box. The cats then showed neurotic indecision about approaching the switch. Some assumed neurotic attitudes. Others were uninterested in mice. One tried to shrink into the cage walls.”

Scientific American, March 1950

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