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Encyclopedia > Pit of despair
Harry Harlow's pit of despair
Harry Harlow's pit of despair

The pit of despair, or vertical chamber, was a device used in experiments conducted on rhesus macaque monkeys during the 1970s by American comparative psychologist Harry Harlow and his students at the University of Wisconsin. [1] The aim of the research was to produce an animal model of human clinical depression. Image File history File linksMetadata Pitofdespair-Harlow. ... Binomial name Macaca mulatta Zimmermann, 1780 The Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta), often called the Rhesus Monkey, is one of the best known species of Old World monkeys. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Comparative psychology, taken in its most usual, broad sense, refers to the study of the behavior and mental life of animals other than human beings. ... Harry F. Harlow (October 31, 1905–1981) was an American psychologist best known for his studies on affection and development using rhesus monkeys and surrogate wire or terrycloth mothers. ... The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public university located in Madison, Wisconsin. ... Clinical depression (also called severe depressive disorder, major depressive disorder) is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individuals social functioning and/or activities of daily living. ...

The vertical chamber was little more than a stainless-steel trough with sides that sloped to a rounded bottom. A 3/8 in. wire mesh floor 1 in. above the bottom of the chamber allowed waste material to drop through the drain and out of holes drilled in the stainless-steel. The chamber was equiped with a food box and a water-bottle holder, and was covered with a pyramid top[removed in the accompanying photograph], designed to discourage incarcerated subjects from hanging from the upper part of the chamber. [2]

Harlow placed baby monkeys in the chamber alone for up to six weeks. Within a few days, they stopped moving about and remained huddled in a corner. The monkeys were found to be psychotic when removed from the chamber, and most did not recover. Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state in which thought and perception are severely impaired. ...

Contents

Background

A rhesus monkey infant in one of Harlow's isolation chambers. The photograph was taken when the chamber door was raised for the first time after six months of total isolation.
Enlarge
A rhesus monkey infant in one of Harlow's isolation chambers. The photograph was taken when the chamber door was raised for the first time after six months of total isolation. [3]

Harlow's first experiments into the effects of loneliness involved isolating a monkey in a cage surrounded by steel walls with a small one-way mirror, so the experimenters could look in, but the monkey couldn't look out. The only connection the monkey had with the world was when the experimenters' hands changed his bedding or delivered fresh water and food. Baby monkeys were placed in these boxes soon after birth; four were left for 30 days, four for six months, and four for a year. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (488x697, 270 KB) This image is a faithful digitalization of a unique historic photograph, and the copyright for it is most likely held by the photographer who took the photograph or the agency employing the photographer. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (488x697, 270 KB) This image is a faithful digitalization of a unique historic photograph, and the copyright for it is most likely held by the photographer who took the photograph or the agency employing the photographer. ... Binomial name Macaca mulatta Zimmermann, 1780 The Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta), often called the Rhesus monkey, is one of the best known species of Old World monkeys. ... A mirror is a surface with good specular reflection that is smooth enough to form an image. ... Birth is the process in animals by which an offspring is expelled from the body of its mother. ...


After 30 days, the "total isolates," as they were called, were found to be "enormously disturbed": two of them refused to eat and starved themselves to death. [4] After being isolated for a year, the monkeys were found initially to barely move, didn't explore or play, were incapable of having sexual relations. When put with other monkeys for a daily play session, they were badly bullied by the other monkeys. Look up Sex in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... It has been suggested that Workplace bullying be merged into this article or section. ...


In order to find out how the isolates would parent, Harlow devised what he called a "rape rack," to which the female isolates were tied in the position taken by a normal female monkey in order to be impregnated. Artifical insemination had not been developed at that time. He found that, just as they were incapable of having sexual relations, they were also unable to parent their offspring, either abusing or neglecting them. "Not even in our most devious dreams could we have designed a surrogate as evil as these real monkey mothers were," he wrote. [5] Having no social experience themselves, they were incapable of appropriate social interaction. One mother held her baby's face to the floor and chewed off his feet and fingers. Another crushed her baby's head. Most of them simply ignored their offspring. [5] Categories: Biological reproduction | Biology stubs ...


These experiments showed Harlow what total and partial isolation did to developing monkeys, but he felt he hadn't captured the essence of depression, which he believed was characterized by feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and a sense of being trapped, or being "sunk in a well of despair," he said. [5] Clinical depression (also called severe depressive disorder, major depressive disorder) is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individuals social functioning and/or activities of daily living. ... Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation. ...


Vertical chamber apparatus

Animal rights

Activists
Greg Avery · David Barbarash
Rod Coronado · Barry Horne
Ronnie Lee · Keith Mann
Ingrid Newkirk · Andrew Tyler
Jerry Vlasak · Robin Webb
The logo of the Great Ape Project, which is campaigning for a Declaration on Great Apes. ... Image File history File links Olive_baboon1. ... Greg Avery (born 1963), also known as Greg Jennings and Greg Harrison, is a British animal rights activist and co-founder of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), an international campaign to force the closure of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), a controversial animal-testing company with bases in Huntingdon, England, and... David Barbarash is the North American press officer for the Animal Liberation Front. ... Rod Coronado Rodney Adam Coronado is an American eco-anarchist and animal rights activist. ... Barry Horne Barry Horne was a British animal rights activist who died of kidney failure in Ronkswood Hospital, Worcester on November 5, 2001, following a series of four hunger strikes while serving an 18-year sentence for planting incendiary devices. ... Ronnie Lee is a British animal rights activist, and founder of the Animal Liberation Front. ... Keith Mann is a British animal-rights campaigner, believed to be a senior Animal Liberation Front activist. ... Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder and president of PETA Ingrid Newkirk (born July 11, 1949) is a British-born animal rights activist, author, and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the worlds largest animal rights organization. ... Andrew Tyler is the director of Animal Aid, the UKs largest animal rights organization. ... Jerry Vlasak is a U.S. physician and prominent member of several controversial nonprofit organizations, including Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. ... Robin Webb appearing on Channel 4s Dispatches Robin Webb runs the Animal Liberation Press Office in the UK. He was previously a member of the ruling council of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and a director of Animal Aid. ...

Groups/campaigns
Animal Aid · ALF
Animal liberation movement
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BUAV · Great Ape Project
Justice Department
PETA · SPEAK
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty
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Animal Aid logo Animal Aid is the United Kingdoms largest animal rights group and one of the longest established in the world, having been founded in 1977. ... Beagles removed by British ALF activists from a testing laboratory owned by the Boots Group. ... For the concept, see Animal rights The animal liberation movement or animal rights movement, also sometimes called the animal personhood movement, is the worldwide movement of individual activists, academics, lawyers, campaigns, and organized groups who oppose or engage in direct action against the use of non-human animals in research... The Animal Rights Militia (ARM) is a name used by animal-rights activists who are prepared to carry out acts of violence against human beings. ... The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection is a pressure group based near Highbury Corner in North London, United Kingdom that campaigns peacefully against vivisection. ... The logo of The Great Ape Project, which aims to expand moral equality to great apes, and to foster greater understanding of them by humans. ... The Justice Department is a militant animal-rights organization, set up in Britain in 1993, and active there and in the United States. ... People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals logo People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world. ... SPEAK is a British animal rights campaign that aims to end animal experimentation and vivisection in the UK. The campaign was born out of Stop Primate Experimentation at Cambridge (SPEAC), [1] a campaign set up to oppose the construction at the University of Cambridge of a new primate research facility... A monkey inside Huntingdon Life Sciences in the United States. ... Viva!, or Vegetarians International Voice For Animals, Founded by Juliet Gellatley in 1995, is an animal-rights based organisation which promotes vegetarianism and veganism. ...

Issues
Animal rights · Animal testing
Bile bear · Factory farming
Operation Backfire · Speciesism
The logo of the Great Ape Project, which is campaigning for a Declaration on Great Apes. ... Enos the space chimp before insertion into the Mercury-Atlas 5 capsule in 1961. ... A bile bear in Huizhou Farm, Vietnam. ... Beef cattle on a feedlot in the Texas Panhandle Factory farming is a term used to describe a set of controversial practices in large-scale, intensive agriculture. ... Operation Backfire is an ongoing multi-agency criminal investigation, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), into violent acts in the name of animal rights and environmental causes in the United States [1]. // Background In 2004 the FBI merged seven independent investigations from its Portland, Oregon field office and... The relevance of particular information in (or previously in) this article or section is disputed. ...

Cases
Britches
Cambridge University primates
Pit of despair · Silver Spring monkeys
Unnecessary Fuss
Britches after being removed from the laboratory by the Animal Liberation Front Britches was the name given by researchers to a stumptail macaque monkey who was born into a breeding colony at the University of California, Riverside in March 1985. ... A marmoset inside Cambridge University, filmed by BUAV The use of primates in experiments at Cambridge University is controversial, first coming to widespread public attention in the UK following undercover investigations lasting ten months in 1998 by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), the results of which... The Silver Spring monkeys were 17 monkeys kept in small wire cages inside the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, by Dr. Edward Taub, who was researching regeneration of severed nerves with a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). ... Unnecessary Fuss is the name of a film produced by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), showing footage shot inside the University of Pennsylvanias Head Injury Clinic in Philadelphia, described by the university as the longest standing and most respected center...

Writers
Steven Best · Stephen R.L. Clark
Gary Francione · Gill Langley
Tom Regan · Richard D. Ryder
Peter Singer · Steven M. Wise
-1... Dr. Stephen Clark Stephen Richard Lyster Clark (born October 30, 1945) is a British philosopher and international authority on animal rights, currently professor of philosophy and Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool. ... Gary Lawrence Francione (1954) is an American law professor at Rutgers University. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... Tom Regan (born November 28, 1938 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American philosopher and animal-rights activist. ... Richard D. Ryder (born 1940) is a British psychologist who, after performing psychology experiments on animals, began to speak out against the practice, and became one of the pioneers of the modern animal liberation and animal rights movements. ... Peter Albert David Singer (born July 6, 1946 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is an Australian Humanist and philosopher. ... Steven M. Wise is the author of Though the Heavens May Fall, a book concerning the 18th century trial in England which led to the abolition of slavery. ...

Categories
Animal experimentation
Animal Liberation Front
Animal rights movement
Animal rights

WikiProject
WikiProject Animal rights

The technical name for the new depression chamber was "vertical chamber apparatus," though Harlow himself called it the "pit of despair," "well of despair," "dungeon of despair," and "well of loneliness." [1]


Most of the monkeys placed inside it were at least three months old and had already bonded with others. The point of the experiment was to break those bonds in order to create the symptoms of depression.


According to Harlow: "most subjects typically assume a hunched position in a corner of the bottom of the apparatus. One might presume at this point that they find their situation to be hopeless." [6]


Steven Suomi, one of Harlow's many doctoral students, placed some monkeys in the chamber for his PhD. He wrote that he could find no monkey who had any defense against it. Even the happiest monkeys came out damaged. He concluded that even a happy, normal childhood was no defense against depression. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Childhood (song) Childhood is a broad term usually applied to the phase of development in humans between infancy and adulthood. ...


The experiments delivered what Deborah Blum has called "common sense results": that monkeys, very social animals in nature, when placed in isolation emerge badly damaged, and that some recover and some do not. [7] Deborah Blum (born October 19, 1954) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author. ...


Gene Sackett of the University of Washington in Seattle, and another of Harlow's doctoral students who went on to conduct additional deprivation studies, told Blum that, in his view, the animal liberation movement in the U.S. was born as a result of Harlow's experiments, but Willam Mason, another of Harlow's students, who also continued deprivation experiments after leaving Wisconsin, told Blum that Harlow "kept this going to the point where it was clear to many people that the work was really violating ordinary sensibilities, that anybody with respect for life or people would find this offensive. It's as if he sat down and said, 'I'm only going to be around another ten years. What I'd like to do, then, is leave a great big mess behind.' If that was his aim, he did a perfect job." [8] The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington. ... City nickname Emerald City City bird Great Blue Heron City flower Dahlia City mottos The City of Flowers The City of Goodwill City song Seattle, the Peerless City Mayor Greg Nickels County King County Area   - Total   - Land   - Water   - % water 369. ... For the concept, see Animal rights The animal liberation movement or animal rights movement, also sometimes called the animal personhood movement, is the worldwide movement of individual activists, academics, lawyers, campaigns, and organized groups who oppose or engage in direct action against the use of non-human animals in research...


See also

Enos the space chimp before insertion into the Mercury-Atlas 5 capsule in 1961. ... Britches after being removed from the laboratory by the Animal Liberation Front Britches was the name given by researchers to a stumptail macaque monkey who was born into a breeding colony at the University of California, Riverside in March 1985. ... A marmoset inside Cambridge University, filmed by BUAV The use of primates in experiments at Cambridge University is controversial, first coming to widespread public attention in the UK following undercover investigations lasting ten months in 1998 by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), the results of which... The Silver Spring monkeys were 17 monkeys kept in small wire cages inside the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, by Dr. Edward Taub, who was researching regeneration of severed nerves with a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). ... Unnecessary Fuss is the name of a film produced by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), showing footage shot inside the University of Pennsylvanias Head Injury Clinic in Philadelphia, described by the university as the longest standing and most respected center...

Notes

  1. ^ a b Blum, Deborah. The Monkey Wars. Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 95.
  2. ^ Suomi, Stephen John. Experimental Production of Depressive Behavior in Young Rhesus Monkeys: A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology) at the University of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin, 1971, p. 33.
  3. ^ Stephens, M.L. Maternal Deprivation Experiments in Psychology: A Critique of Animal Models. AAVS, NAVS, NEAVS, 1986, p. 17.
  4. ^ Blum, Deborah. Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection. Perseus Publishing, 2002, p. 216.
  5. ^ a b c Blum, Deborah. Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection. Perseus Publishing, 2002, p. 217.
  6. ^ Blum, Deborah. The Monkey Wars. Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 218.
  7. ^ Blum, Deborah. Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection. Perseus Publishing, 2002, p. 225.
  8. ^ Blum, Deborah. The Monkey Wars. Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 96.

References

  • Blum, Deborah. The Monkey Wars. Oxford University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-19-510109-X
  • Blum, Deborah. Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection. Perseus Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-7382-0278-9
  • Stephens, M.L. Maternal Deprivation Experiments in Psychology: A Critique of Animal Models. AAVS, NAVS, NEAVS, 1986.

Further reading

  • Harry Harlow's Monkey Love Experiments
  • Slater, Lauren. Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century. W.W. Norton & Company, 2004, ISBN 0-393-05095-5

 
 

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