PSY362 Dec 2.docx

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Peter Morrow

Comparative psychology – relate to phylogenetic history - Comparative: comparing one species to another. - It is perhaps not fair to compare humans to animals because they have a niche that they adapted to. - There are species of animals that can do things that we can’t do and vice versa. - First modern scientist to say that we should look at behavior: DARWIN. - Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. - Phylogeny: biology and evolutionary history. o How closely you are related to each other in evolution, including genetic relationships. o 99% of chimps’ genes are similar to ours. o Anatomy is comparable as well. o The closer they are to us, the more similar the phylogeny. o Ontogeny: human development from fetus onto adulthood o Phylogeny: evolutionary development. o In the initial stages of development, the fetus resembles a fish. o In fact in early stages, it looks like we have a tail?  We lose the tail as we have adapted to a non aquatic environment – ontological development Analyze across four perspectives 1) How common are the behaviors across species? - Do other species have emotions? - Can they learn things? Memory. - Do they have preferences, motivations? - Do they have a sense of self? - The closest the species are genetically to us, the more common their behaviors are. 2) How successful are the behaviors? - In what niche does that organism live in? o Talked about bats – live in caves. They are very successful because the adaptation has been echolocation. 3) What mechanisms are involved? - What mechanisms seem to differ significantly between species? The difference is in their niche. o Perception. o This is the one mechanism that is most important for adaptation. 4) What is the ontogeny (development) involved? - We are a cognitively advanced species. - Elephants have the longest gestation period – 2 years. - We have to learn a lot of things. Brain size: Does cognitive ability reflect brain size? NO - Are we more cognitively superior? - Clearly, our brains are bigger than the brains of birds. - We don’t have the biggest brain in the animal kingdom. - The biggest one is whales – blue whales and humpback whales. - Their brain control behavior and movement and therefore they need bigger brains. - Is it the proportion of the size of the brain to the rest of the body? Brain size Cephalization index (K) - The percentage of the body that takes up brain size. - What makes us different from other animals? Cortex size - It is not the brain size but the cortex that makes us different and produces higher level functioning. - Cortex (control cognitive intellectual functioning), thalamus and some parts of the limbic (emotion and memory) and ganglionic system - Midbrain – motivation - Hindbrain –HR, motor coordination, sleep cycles. Spinal cord –
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