Laboratory of Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Biology

Charles I. Abramson, Director

Oklahoma State University
Departments of Psychology and Zoology


The Laboratory attempts to understand the neuronal mechanisms of learning and memory, particularly in invertebrate systems. In addition, we conduct comparative analyses of behavior in a wide range of invertebrate species. We also perform investigations into the behavioral pharmacology of pollutants and have an interest in apparatus design and in using invertebrates for promoting science education within the United States and abroad.

For books describing the use of invertebrate as teaching tools see:

The following are pictures and schematics of invertebrate apparatuses commonly used in my labortory. References are provided of selected papers that have used these techniques.



Abramson, C. I. (1986) Aversive conditioning in honey bees (Apis mellifera). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 100, 108-116.




Abramson, C. I., Miler, J., and Mann, D. W. (1982). An olfactory shuttle box and runway for insects. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 3, 151-160.

For a related paper see:
Decarlo, L. T., and Abramson, C. I. (1989). Time allocation in the carpenter ant (Componontus herculeanus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 103, 389-400.


Abramson, C. I., Collier, D. M., and Marcucella, H. (1977) An aversive conditioning unit for ants. Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation, 9, 505-507.


Abramson, C. I., Aquino, I. S., Silva, M. C., and Price, J. M. (1997) Learning in the Africanized honey bee: Apis mellifera L. Physiology and Behavior, 62, 657-674.

Abramson, C. I., Aquino, I. S., Azeredo, G. A., Filho, J. R. M., & Price, J. M. (1997). The attraction of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to soft drinks and perfumes. Journal of General Psychology, 124, 166-181.

Buckbee, D. A., & Abramson, C. I. (1997). Identification of a new contingency-based response in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) through revision of the proboscis extension conditioning paradigm. Journal of Insect Behavior, 10, 479-491.



Proboscis Conditioning in the housefly in: Abramson, C. I., Onstott, T., Edwards, S., and Bowe, K. (1996) Classical-conditioning demonstrations for elementary and advanced courses. Teaching of Psychology, 23, 26-30.


Abramson, C. I., and Feinman, R. D. (1990). Lever-press conditioning in the crab. Physiology and Behavior, 48, 267-272.


Abramson, C. I., and Feinman, R. D. (1987) Operant punishment in the green crab Carcinus maenas. Behavioral and Neural Biology, 48, 259-277.


Abramson, C. I., Azeredo, G. A., Filho, J. R. M., Silva, M. C., and Aquino, I. S. (1996). The ability of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to tolerate cold temperatures when placed in a refrigerator. XI Congresso Brasilerio de Apicultura: Feira Nacional Apicola, (Brazil) November.


Marian, R. W., and Abramson, C. I. (1982). Earthworm behavior in a modified running wheel. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 2, 67-74.

For a related paper see:
Abramson, C. I., and Buckbee, D. A. (1995). Pseudoconditioning in earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris): Support for nonassociative explanations of classical conditioning phenomena through an olfactory paradigm. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 109, 390-397.

Papers of Related Interest

Abramson, C.I. (1997). Where have I heard it all before: Some neglected issues of invertebrate learning. In G. Greenberg & E. Tobach (Eds.). Comparative Psychology of Invertebrates: The Field and Laboratory Study of Insect Behavior (55-78). New York: Garland Publishing.

Techniques available for Classroom Use

The Psychology Museum and Resource Center (PMRC)

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The contents of these pages copyright 2000 by Charles Abramson. No part of these pages may be reproduced or used in any format without written permission.