The ethologists Timbergen and Lorenz, Nobel Prize’s winners, studied the instinct among animals.
Timbergen defines the instinct as a “hierarchically organized nervous mechanism which is susceptible to certain priming, releasing and directing impulses of internal as well of external origin, and which responds to these impulses by coordinated movements that contribute to the maintenance of the individual and the spices“.
The ethologists distinguish between “priming” and “releasing” impulses. As a result of the former, the instinctual mechanism accumulates potential to act. whereas the latter permit this potential to discharge in action.
(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)