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Chapter 5

PSYCH 2TT3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Phenotypic Plasticity, Lymphoma, Classical Conditioning

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Ayesha Khan

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Chapter 5 Textbook Notes:
Paper wasps, live in well lit colonies, where mating depends on each individual’s dominance in the
They recognize their mate, but how?
They have facial marks, so researchers looked at facial learning, prominent in humans too
Took wasps, showed them images other wasps, one picture was paired with electric shock, other
Wasps learned to avoid shock pair faces really quickly
They were truly showing facial learning
When faces were rearranged in a weird way, the shock was not paired with the faces, so faces were
actually learned in wasps
Why has this trait evolved? To recognize mates in the colony, so to maximize fitness.
Same test on a different species where nest alone, and not much facial variability, therefore no benefit
to facial learning and there was actually no facial learning
What is individual learning?
Learning refers to a relatively permanent change in behaviour as a result of experience
Phenotypic plasticity is broadly defined as the ability of an organism to produce different phenotypes depending on
environmental conditions.
Example is bryozoans show phenotypic plasticity by growing spines when shown predator cues, but no spines usually.
If we replace behaviour with
phenotype in our definition of
learning, phenotypic plasticity
becomes the broader category
under which learning is
subsumed. So all learning is a
type of phenotypic plasticity, but
not all phenotypic plasticity
involves learning.
Some birds flap their wings when
they are under a tree; they still do
this in laboratory conditions. So
this is also a type of learning.
They flap their wings to get food
Learning from a single stimulus experience:
When you keep showing blue stick to rats, over time they become more sensitive to blue stick,
we call this sensitization.
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If animals in opposite turns his head less to the continuously shown stimulus, this means animal
has habituated.
Pavlovian (Classical) conditioning:
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