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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 / Chapter 4

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McMaster University
Life Sciences
Brett Beston

Lecture 6CH4Saturday November 12 2011717 PMLearningWhen animals dont learn they use their instinctsLearning has costs and benefitsAnimals learn valuableinformation onlyHow do we know what valuableinformation isBased on evolution something that induces a reaction that will have a difference in fitnessExample bumblebees and flowersBees get their food from flowers so its innate for them to fly towards flowers for foodBut in a typical bee habitat there are hundreds of flower types in a variety of smells colors and shapesTo learn or not to learnIn an evolutionary sense when would it be better to learn vs use instincts to drive behaviorWe need to know your historyWhen the environment is highhigh it means nothing new happens so no need to learn when it is constantly changing no need to learnIn terms of bumblebees againDifferent flower species have different amounts of nectarDifferent areas have different plant speciesSolutionthe bumblebee samples different species and learns which is the best flower in that bumblebees specific time and placeWhen is learning adaptiveWhen there is no reliable association over many generationsBut there is such association over some portion of an individuals lifeWhen is innate behavior sufficientWhen there is reliable association over many generation between a cue and an environmentalLIFE SCI 2D03 Page 1
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