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Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923). The Man African American scientist Entomologist Relevance in Psychology Behavior/Techniques of insects.

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Presentation on theme: "Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923). The Man African American scientist Entomologist Relevance in Psychology Behavior/Techniques of insects."— Presentation transcript:

1 Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923)

2 The Man African American scientist Entomologist Relevance in Psychology Behavior/Techniques of insects

3 Early Life Born in 1867 in Cincinnati, OH Parents: Thomas Turner and Addie Campbell Poor upbringing Interest in nature and insects Thirst for knowledge Woodard High School Valedictorian

4 Family/Personal Life Married Leontine Troy in 1887 strange death Three children Remarried Lillian Porter in 1908 Married until 1923 death

5 Importance of Education Animals are prejudiced against animals unlike themselves, and the more unlike they are the greater the prejudice, but with humans, dissimilarity of minds is a more potent factor in causing prejudice than unlikeness of physiognomy - Charles H. Turner (1902)

6 Zeitgeist Education & racial harmony 1887 Jim Crow Laws 1902 article: “Will Education of the Negro Solve the Race Problem?” W.E.B DuBois Booker T. Washington

7 Zeitgeist Behaviorism –Existence of mind in lower animals Animal influence Ivan Sechenov William Small E.L. Thorndike Ivan Pavlov

8 Historical Influences Charles Darwin - On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection Radl - Two reasons insects can hear Romanes - Moth observation Sir James Lubbock - Ants, Bees, Wasps, A Record of Observations on the Habits of the Social Hymenoptera Tuner’s son: Darwin Romanes

9 The Student and Scientist 1889: Attended the University of Cincinnati –1891: B.S. degree in Biology –1892: M.S. degree in Biology 1907: First African- American granted a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (Zoology)

10 Professional Obstacles/Struggles Racism and Isolation Inability to secure an academic appointment at a university Limited Resources Lack of Recognition

11 The Experimenter and Author Animal Behavior Unconventional subjects (including ants, bees, wasps, spiders, cockroaches, crustaceans, moths, pigeons, and plants) Complex apparati Integrated field and laboratory research and conducted experiments in both environments

12 Publications, Publications, Publications! Turner published some 70 scientific papers, including: 1891: “Morphology of the avian brain.” (his first publication – completed as partial performance of his B.S. degree) 1892: “Psychological notes upon the gallery spider.” 1906: “A preliminary note on ant behavior.” 1910: “Experiments on color-vision of the honey bee” 1914: “An experimental study of the auditory powers of the giant silkworm moths, Saturniidae” 1924: (Last publication – posthumous): “A new field method of investigating the hydrotropisms of fresh-water invertebrates”

13 Research, Experiments, & Clinical Data

14 C.H. Turner (1910). Experiments on color- vision of the honey bee. Biological Bulletin, 19, 257-279. “Whether insects can or cannot distinguish color is a matter of much theoretical importance, for the correct interpretation of the relation of insects to flowers depends upon this answer.” Red, Blue, and Green colored disks, “cornucopias,” and boxes in a field of white sweet clover Results/Conclusions - Conclusive evidence that honey bees can see color! –Bees responded to color when it was deemed significant (e.g. a source of honey/food) –It is not the scent/odor of the food source alone that attracts the bees (they would pass by some of the disks loaded with “more than a thousand times as much honey as any one of those flowers did nectar”) Other Observations –Orienting Flight and Memory Pictures Lack of Recognition – Von Frisch controversy

15 C.H. Turner (1914). An experimental study of the auditory powers of the giant silkworm moths, Saturniidae. Biological Bulletin, 27, 325-332. Early morphological assumptions concluded that insects possessed an auditory sense for 2 reasons (Romanes, etc.): –Many insects are capable of producing sounds –Insects possess organs that seemed structurally fitted to act as receptors of sound waves Turner sought to provide empirical proof to supplant such morphological assumptions –One of the first Classical Conditioning experiments with insects –2 Main Conclusions: Moths can hear Their response seems to depend on whether or not the sound has a life significance (e.g. is suggestive of a predator)

16 Giant Silkworm Moths, cont. Part I – All Subjects Subjects –79 S. cecropia –104 P. cynthia –41 C. promethea –81 T. polyphemus Setup –Out of doors insectary –North wall almost entirely wire netting –3 wooden, windowless, walls and shelf rests supported by ground – wooden floor also on ground but unattached to the walls or shelf rests –Heavy swinging shelf suspended from ceiling by picture wire (subjects kept on this shelf) “Since I always stood on the floor when sounding any of the instruments, [precautions were taken so that] it was impossible for the vibrations to reach the moths by any medium other than the air” (pg. 325). Materials –Adjustable Organ Pipe –Adjustable Pitch Pipe –Edelmann’s Galton Whistle

17 Giant Silkworm Moths, cont. Method –Instrument sounded 5 times at 1 minute intervals –Records made of moths’ behavior – movement of wings as though about to fly = “response” –Measured Response, and Effects of Age, Temperature, and Mating Results –Cecropia, cynthia, and promethea all responded to a wide range of sound waves –Of the 78 polyphemus, only 3 responded in any way…

18 Giant Silkworm Moths, cont. Part II – Only polyphemus –Hypothesis about unresponsiveness: The species is deaf and responses were the result of some factor overlooked by the investigator, or Responses are expressions of emotion and polyphemus has a “sluggish temperament” –Known: Moth is exceptionally unresponsive to all ordinary stimuli Moth is “protectively colored” and inconspicuous in certain situations, AND inconspicuous coloration might be correlated with the instinct to remain rigidly immobile in the presence of all ordinary stimuli –Test subjects: freshly emerged polyphemus –Materials: organ pipe set to 256 vibrations/second –Trial: pipe sounded – no visible response from moth

19 Giant Silkworm Moths, cont. Method: –Organ Pipe sounded 5x in rapid succession –Insect roughly handled for a few minutes – tossed about, gently squeezed, and thrown on its back –Repeated several times –Once moth quieted, pipe sounded 5 more times

20 Giant Silkworm Moths, cont. Results: –Each time pipe sounded, moth waved wings vigorously Experimentally caused moth to associate disagreeable experience with certain sounds and to respond to sounds it previously would/did not respond to Polyphemus can hear too! –Experiments induced state of nervous excitability, causing the moths to respond 2 Conclusions (reiterated!) –Moths can hear –Their responses are expressions of emotion to sounds that have life significance

21 1891: Contributor to The Journal of Comparative Neurology –Student of Clarence Luther Herrick 1892-1893: Assistant instructor in Biological Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati 1893-1905: Professor of Biology & Chair of the Science Department at Clark University 1905-1906: High School Principal of College Hill High School 1907: Elected as a Delegate at the Seventh International Zoological Congress and Secretary of the Animal Behavior Section The Scholar and Teacher

22 1907-1908: Professor of Biology and Chemistry at Haines Normal and Industrial Institute 1908-1922: High school teacher at Sumner High School (St. Louse, MO) Starting salary $1080/year He continued to publish during his years at Sumner 1910/1912: Elected to membership in the St. Louis Academy of Science 1912: The Crises magazine honors Turner as one of the “Men of the Month” The Scholar and Teacher cont.

23 Strengths Theory –Insects can hear –Ants Can form practical judgments Do not slavishly follow odor trails back to the nest/home –Light rays a factor –Have definite impressions of direction, including both horizontal and vertical orientation and distance Can be trained to do simple things, just like vertebrates Beth and Wasmann Individual differences Principles accepted Could be used to make predictions Publisher 70 scientific papers Studies Initiated 1st controlled vision and pattern in honey bees

24 Weaknesses Later Standing Bee Lacks adequate control of brightness Addressed but not resolved Anecdotal Ammophila Behavior Genes and environment, nature vs. nurture

25 His Influences & Contributions Entomology Dissertation- “The Homing of Ants: An Experimental Study of Ant Behavior.” Key figure in ant behavior Techniques Learning of invertebrate species Emphasis on training variables –Intertrial interval –Intercession interval

26 Behaviorism (Comparative Psychology) Watson- term “behavior” from Turner’s A Preliminary Note on Ant Behavior France Turner’s Circling – A type of ant behavior T.C. Schneirla Learning and Orientation in ants “For this contribution and for his emphasis of the learning ability of ants, Turner’s place in the literature should not be a minor one.” Comparative Neurology Contributed to Vol. 1 (1891) of The Journal of Comparative Neurology “Neurology” Journal- Clarence Luther Herrick Influences & Contributions cont.

27 In His Honor 1954: Charles Henry Turner Middle Branch (formerly Charles Henry Turner Open Air School for Crippled Children, 1925, St. Louis MO) –Belief that air was helpful to those suffering from tuberculosis

28 Charles Henry Turner MEGA Magnet Middle School (1999) –Mega-Multimedia Electronic Graphic Arts –Traditional skills along with computer skills, dimensional drawing –A multi-racial school for 6th-8th grade students –Upon graduation, students can enter Sumner High School

29 Tanner-Turner Hall –Clark College Animal Behavior Society –Poster session –Goal- increase diversity and encourage researchers from minority and all age Abramson, C.I., L.D. Jackson, & C.L. Fuller (Eds.) (2003). Selected Papers and Biography of Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923): Pioneer of Comparative Animal Behavior Studies (Black Studies Vol.17). Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

30 M.E. Ross (1997). Bug Watching with Charles Henry Turner. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books. –a biography/activity book for children

31 Charles Henry Turner House /heritage/agendas/2005/OCT_items/Charl esHTurnerNR.pdf

32 Summary Turner believed in the power of educating both the mind of black and white in an effort to rid society of ignorance and promote tolerance. His work can be applied to various fields, including: Psychology, Neurology, Zoology, and Biology In spite of the racism of his time, the inability to secure academic appointment at a university, limited resources, and a persistent lack of recognition, he published over 70 scientific articles and was the first African-American to be published in several journals

33 Summary His work focused on animal behavior and he is credited (among other things) with demonstrating that: –Ants have definite impressions of direction and distance, and, like vertebrates, they can be trained to do simple things –Honey bees can see color and are not attracted to food sources based on scent alone –Moths can hear and their responses are emotional expressions to sounds that have life significance Ultimately gave evidence to show that humans, animals, and insects are a lot a like.


35 References Abramson, C. I. (2003). Charles Henry Turner: Contributions of a forgotten African-American to scientific research. Retrieved May 22, 2006, from Abramson, C.I., L.D. Jackson, & C.L. Fuller (Eds.) (2003). Selected Papers and Biography of Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923): Pioneer of Comparative Animal Behavior Studies (Black Studies Vol.17). Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press. Guthrie, R. V. (2004). Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology (2nd ed., 163-164). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. Haines, D.E. (1991). The contributors to Volume 1 (1891) of The Journal of Comparative Neurology: C.L. Herrick, C.H. Turner, H.R. Pemberton, B.G. Wilder, F.W. Langdon, C.J. Herrick, C. von Kupffer, O.S. Strong, T.B. Stowell. Dec 1;314(1):9-33. Retreived May 22, 2006, from Jackson, D. M. (n.d.). Who was Charles Turner? Retrieved May 26, 2006, from J. B. W. (1907). A preliminary note on ant behavior (review). Psychological Bulletin, 4(9), 300-301. Magnet Middle Schools. Retreived June 7, 2006, from Planet Science. (n.d.). Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923). Retrieved June 1, 2006, from Sammons, V. (1990). Blacks in science and medicine. New York: Hemisphere Publishing. Schneirla, T. C. (1929). Learning and Orientation in Ants. Comparative Psychology Monographs, 6 (no.4) p. 21-24. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press. Schultz, D.P. & Schultz S. (2004). A History of Modern Psychology (8th ed., 261-262). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Turner, C. H. (1906). A preliminary note on ant behavior. Biological Bulletin, 12, 31-36. ---. (1907). Do ants form practical judgments? Biological Bulletin, 13, 333-344. ---. (1910). Experiments on color-vision of the honey bee. Biological Bulletin, 19, 257-279. ---. (1914). An experimental study of the auditory powers of the Giant Silkworm Moths (Saturniidae). Biological Bulletin, 27, 325-332. Turner, C. H. & Schwarz, E. (1914). Auditory powers of the Catocala Moths: An experimental field study. Biological Bulletin, 27, 275-29. Welcome to the Ville. Retrieved June 7, 2006

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