What Is Behaviour?
• Behaviour is something that you can see in a particular space and time
• Measuring behavior allows you to analyze and ask questions about the functioning of the brain
• Behaviour is a experimental tool, where you can narrow focus down and have working type
theory on what is going on in the brain
Psychology and Biology
• Psychology deals with numerous aspects of animal and human behaviour.
• Psychology traditionally belonged to Social Sciences and sometimes treated the brain as a
Psychology is subdiscipline of biology as brain is reason for behavior
• Nowadays the discipline is regarded as part of Natural Sciences and psychology uses numerous
concepts and methods of biology
Two Fundamentally Distinct Questions
• Proximate question (phenogenetic causation).
o Concerns the biological & physiological mechanisms of behaviour.
o That is: “How do things work?”
• Ultimate question (phylogenetic causation)
o Concerns the evolution and adaptive aspect of behaviour.
o That is: “How did it come about?”
Behaviour is the result of biological mechanisms and it has developed according to the forces of
natural selection, i.e. evolution
Why Study Animal Behaviour?
• Animal behaviour is just as interesting.
• There are many species of animals with many different behaviours (comparative approaches).
• There are many methods with which behaviour can be studied in animals but not in humans.
• Medical research (model organisms and laboratory animals as tools for discovery).
• Humans are only one species where as there are many different species of one particular animal O Allows scientists to compare features of different species, comparing similarities and
differences, which then can be translated to make evolutionary tree, look at where the similarities
and differences come from
• Ethical considerations in both human and animal groups, but sometimes it is easier with
animals such as cross breeding
• Using reductionist approach in science is a good idea, allowing understanding of certain aspects
of behavior due to the simplicity of the animals where as humans have complex minds
• Animals can be used to understand Humans
o Complicated diseases have been modeled and analyze and test on animals, we can try different
treatment options on animals before using them on humans
How Can We Study Animal Behaviour?
• Two fundamentally different approaches in the past:
• Animal psychology
o Controlled laboratory conditions
o Nature blind
o Focuses on generalities
o Main NorthAmerican based
o Ignored species specific characteristics and natural conditions
o Often based on observations at large
o Nature aware
o Stresses species specific characteristics
o Watch animals in nature
o Problem: Less vigorous, less control in environment, lots of limitations in comparison to
• Now days, use best of both approaches, laboratory setting yet have things to remind of natural
environment Charles Darwin Video
• Purpose, randomness connected with purpose, design through Darwin’s theory of evolution
• Evolution looks like create organism that are well designed but Darwin and after Darwin
realized that this seemingly purposeful end res