Video on Demand by Karen Pryor Clicker Training |

Arousal: Science, Not Sex

High arousal. Over arousal. Low arousal. Arousal as a behavior description is ever-present in our conversations about animals within shelter, performance, and working environments. Across training settings, we’ve attached the label readily without an agreed-upon definition of its meaning. What does arousal mean? What is the relationship between arousal and emotion? How does arousal relate to other descriptors we use (often interchangeably) like drive, frustration, aggression? Is there a functional component to arousal? Is use of the label beneficial for training conversation or does it muddy the waters? Let’s unravel the science of arousal and consider the applications within training practices and behavior-change plans. It’s not sex, but for behavior nerds it’s still sexy!

Please note: This Session was recorded in 2018; content presented in 2019 may vary slightly.  

Lindsay Wood Brown

Lindsay Wood Brown is a board-certified applied animal behaviorist (ACAAB) with a master's degree in animal behavior. Lindsay is a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) course developer and has served as a KPA faculty member since 2012. Lindsay’s goal is to help behavior consultants and shelter professionals apply behavior-change science to their everyday professional lives. Her focus is on stripping labels, flipping prevailing ideas on their sides for a better view, and honing in on systematic ways to advance strategies.

Lindsay consults for animal shelters across the country and provides 1:1 mentorship opportunities for behavior consultants. She previously served as the Director of Operations for Lynchburg Humane Society in Virginia and as the Director of Animal Training and Behavior for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado.