Comparative psychology refers to the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of non-human animals, especially as these relate to the phylogenetic history, adaptive significance, and development of behavior. Research in this area addresses many different issues, uses many different methods, and explores the behavior of many different species, from insects to primates. Many Comparative Psychologists concentrate on cross-species comparisons, including between humans and animals, while some researchers feel that direct comparisons should not be the sole focus of comparative psychology and that intense focus on a single organism to understand its behavior is just as desirable. The object of comparative psychology is to establish principles of generality focusing on both proximate and ultimate causation.
The Southwestern Comparative and Behavioral Neuroscience Association (SCBNA) is of interest to anyone that has an interest in the study of the underlying biology of behavior across the range of species. Comparative Psychologists are interested in relating psychological principles of motivation, emotion, cognition, learning, and memory to behavioral processes. Behavioral neuroscientists are interested in brain mechanisms that underlie the psychological processes that are of interest to Comparative Psychologist. The dynamic nature of topics and broad range of research approaches within the SCBNA is exciting.
SCBNA is a scientific society dedicated to gaining a broad scientific understanding of the nature and evolution of psychological processes in human and nonhuman animals. The SCBNA is a nonprofit scientific society with no doctrine or philosophy, except the scientific method as it is commonly understood in all natural sciences. Anyone who studies perception, learning, memory, or any other cognitive or representational process in animals is welcome. Our mission is to encourage the teaching, theoretical development, and experimental investigation of comparative psychology and behavioral neuroscience.