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Lecture 4

Lecture 4.docx

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Horatio Morgan

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Lecture 4  Birds change calls in times of dangers etc or different calls from other birds  They did experiment by playing playbacks of different owls and stuff and see how the chickadee responded  Owls were the threats and the nuthatch was the control (not threat)  They also did tests where there was an empty nest but they did playbacks regardless and found that no other birds colonized that area; especially if it was more than one bird being playedback  Male birds also protect their nests; they allocate foraging etc by the number of other birds around; they protect so their women don’t get “raped”/courted  Deafened birds cannot sing like non deafened birds can  Zenc apparently is involved in bird song; its some sort of chemical  The graph shows us that the number of neurons in the brain of a male rapidly increase over time and for females it actually decreases over time  Male birds also have a larger RA than femals  To see if NMDA is a vital part of learning songs (learning in general for animals), they used antagonist chemicals (to stop expression of NMDA) to see how it would affect bird songs; they found that it did indeed reduce the amount of tutored bird song they learnt  Action potentials of the HVC were also recorded and it was found that even small stimuli cause many action potentials;  Open learners can change their song over different seasons or w.e  They also did something where they measured the action potential in HVC when the stimuli was played forward, they also measured it when it went backward; they noticed that for backward, there were fall less action potentials  They did another test where they allowed a bird to be raised by another bird species to see how it would affect them; it showed that the great tit desired to mate with blue tits when cross fostered but the blue tits even when cross fostered, desired to mate with blue tits (their own kind)  Imprinting—basically what they used to do is put chicks infront of a screen and play a red dot for them; they should end up getting accustomed to it; if you put it infront of the blue dot they get accustomed to that and eventually they will run away if they are confronted by the other dot  So NMDA has three components, NR1, NR2A and NR2B  For imprinting training, it was shown that NR2B increases learning for that particular method of learning  They did another expirement to show what is intrinsic in their behaviour; they used a cardboard cut out of the herring gul (red beak mark) and they showed that the new borns (having no prior experience in feeding) “begged” more when they saw noticed the red mark rather than when they didn’t; the redmark b
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