This last point deserves our attention, for it is one of the dominant characters of the psychology of insects. With these animals, in fact, certain sensations rapidly impress themselves on the nerve centers and give rise to motor reactions which very quickly take on an automatic character. Let us recall the way the two species of Osmias acted in response to the artifices of Ferton. Their shell, situated at A, was successively moved to B, C, and D, and when the bees returned with their harvest they flew to points A, B, C, before finding the shell at D. They went automatically to point A, where the shell was first situated; at A was aroused the memory of point B, and at B that of point C, and at C that of the removal to D. The recollection of a place unleashed the recollection of the next place ; the individual memory, in other words, was combined with automatism.
Even with man the acquiring of habits by apprenticeship is a step toward automatism. But all the cases just cited give us the proof that arthropods, insects, or others, can acquire new habits more or less quickly. And, if this is the result obtained by a short experimental apprenticeship, one is quite right in thinking that natural apprenticeship leads more surely still to automatic habits, for there is the fact of the conditions of the animals ' environment, conditions which act on him and his posterity.