Gaussian Interval Distributions in Spontaneously Occurring Innate Behaviour


MATURE male turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) during isolation under constant conditions in a sound-proof chamber display certain stereotyped courtship patterns. One of these patterns, the ‘gobbling’ call, shows only very slight variations in either loudness or duration. Thus, gobbling can be regarded as an ‘all-or-none’ event. The duration of the intervals between successive events (or gobbles) does vary, presumably as a function of motivational influences.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Schleidt, W. M., Z. Tierpsychol., 21, 235 (1964).

  2. 2

    Schleidt, W. M., Naturwiss., 51, 445 (1964).

  3. 3

    Hagiwara, S., Japan. J. Physiol., 4, 234 (1954).

  4. 4

    Viernstein, L. J., and Grossman, R. G., in Information Theory, edit. by Cherry, C., 252 (Butterworth, London, 1961).

  5. 5

    Gerstein, G. L., IRE Trans. Information Theory, IT–8, No. 5, 137 (1962).

  6. 6

    Weiss, Th. F., Tech. Rep. 418 (Mass. Inst. Tech. Res. Lab. Electronics, Cambridge, 1964).

  7. 7

    Goldberg, J. M., Adrian, H. O., and Smith, F. D., J. Neurophysiol., 27, 706 (1964).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

SCHLEIDT, W. Gaussian Interval Distributions in Spontaneously Occurring Innate Behaviour. Nature 206, 1061–1062 (1965) doi:10.1038/2061061a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.