Information

The primary source for Erich von Holst research for minnow forebrain and shoaling


I am trying to find the primary source of information about the experiments of Eric von Holst, mentioned by Konrad Lorenz in the book “Das sogenannte Böse: Zur Naturgeschichte der Aggression”/“On Aggression”. The essence of the experiment is widely known and retold in many tertiary sources.

Quoting from a secondary source: under the chapter “Die anonyme Schar”/“Anonymity of the flock” from Konrad Lorenz.

"Ein Fisch, der, aus welchen Gründen immer, in bestimmter Richtung zu schwimmen beginnt, kann ja nicht umhin, in Bälde aus dem Schwarm heraus ins freie Wasser zu geraten und gleichzeitig damit unter den Einfluß aller jener Reize, die ihn in den Schwarm zurückzuziehen trachten… Man kann ganz kribbelig werden, wenn man diesem Treiben zusieht, und man kann nicht umhin, an der Demokratie zu zweifeln und Vorteile in der Rechtspolitik zu sehen… Er [Erich von Holst] operierte einem einzelnen Fischchen dieser Art das Vorderhirn weg, und in diesem stecken, wenigstens bei diesen Fischen, alle Reaktionen des Schwarmzu- sammenhaltes… Das operierte Tier war eben durch seinen Defekt eindeutig zum Führer geworden. "

"A fish which begins, for any reason, to swim in a certain direction cannot avoid leaving the school and thus finding itself in an isolated position. Here it falls under the influence of all those stimuli calculated to draw it back into the school… Watching these indecisive actions one almost begins to lose faith in democracy and to see the advantage of authoritarian politics… Erich von Holst removed from a common minnow the forebrain which, in this species, is the site of all shoaling reactions. The pithed minnow sees, eats and swims like a normal fish, its only aberrant behaviour property being that it does not mind if it leaves the shoal unaccompanied by other fish… By virtue of his deficiency the brainless animal had become the dictator!"

The many-hour search for the words "elritze vorderhirn schwarm erich holst"/"minnow forebrain shoaling erich holst" gives only biographies and obituaries of Eric von Holst and secondary/tertiary / damn knows what sources.

Could it be that with all due respect to Konrad Lorenz it was a false quote or a stretch? Did anyone dig up primary sources?


Watch the video: Determining the Age of Fish Using Their Scales (December 2021).