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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Elicited Behaviour.docx

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PSYC 2330
Francesco Leri

Elicited Behaviour, Habituation and Sensitization The Nature of Elicited Behaviour The Concept of the Reflex Reflex – eliciting stimulus and corresponding response, both are linked Reflex arc – afferent neuron, interneuron and efferent neuron, in vertebrates it is the fewest neural connections necessary but more neural structures may be involved  Babies have reflexes – if you touch their cheek they will turn towards it this may be a reflex caused by them thinking it will be food o Respiratory occlusion reflex – stimulated by a reduction of air flow to baby  First response will be to pull head back to try to remove eliciting stimulus if that doesn’t work they will move hands across face to try and remove it and lastly they will cry which has enough force to remove the eliciting stimulus  Evident in nursing if the nostrils are blocked o Milk letdown reflex is stimulated by sucking at first but then can be elicited simply by the time of day Modal Action Patterns  Some forms of eliciting behaviour appear in only some species or groups of species Modal action patterns (MAPs): response sequences that are typical of a particular species  Sex, territorial defense, aggression, prey capture  Threshold for eliciting the activities varies, the stimulus can have very many different effects – depends on physiological state of the animal and its actions  Action patterns are not performed in the same way each time – before they were called fixed action patterns but that was revised Eliciting Stimuli for Modal Action Patterns  Stimulus responsible for modal action pattern is not always obvious Sign stimulus/releasing stimulus: specific features found to be required to elicit the behaviour  Ex. baby bird learns to peck at the mother to initiate regurgitation of the food so in this case the sign stimulus is the pecking Supernormal stimulus: once you know what the sign stimulus is you can exaggerate it to elicit a vigorous response  Traumatic events have come to elicit strong defensive modal action patterns  Sign stimulus and supernormal stimuli play a role in social and sexual behaviour o Visual, olfactory, tactile and other sign stimuli vary among species o Cosmetic and perfume industries make $$ off this The Sequential Organization of Behaviour  Everything involves an organized sequence of actions Appetitive behaviour: early components of a behaviour sequence Consumatory behaviour: the end components  Generally consummatory responses are highly stereotyped behaviours with specific eliciting or releasing stimuli while appetitive are less stereotyped  Appetitive are shaped by learning and more variable while consummatory tend to be species typical modal action patterns  Learning effects often depend on which part of the behaviour sequence is being modified  Ex. how animals obtain food o Starts with general search mode and is followed by focal search mode and ends with food handling and ingestion mode o Appetitive response is divided into general and focal search mode  General is when the animal doesn’t know where to search, not spatially localized  Focal is spatially localized Effects of Repeated Stimulation  Elicited behaviour varies, even simple reflex’s’ contrary to Descartes belief Salivation and Hedonic Ratings of Taste in People  Trail with women and lime or lemon juice o The salivation increased after the first trial but then slowly decreased while the hedonic ratings decreased after the first trial o When the juices were switched in trial 11 the salivation and hedonic rating increased o With trials it became less effective in eliciting salivations and hedonic responses Habituation effect: the decline in responding that occurs with repeated presentation of a stimulus – prominent feature of elicited behaviour in virtually all species and is stimulus specific  Ex. chefs who produce expensive food must present a varied dish with different tastes so your taste buds will not habituate to it – if you wanted to lose weight create a dish which will provide the same taste every bite  Attention also plays a role o Ex. study with children – habituation to a flavour occurs less if the children were distracted by a difficult task o This explains why food tastes better with friends or in front of a TV (and why you eat more) – there is less habituation because of non- food cues Visual Attention in Human Infants  Sensitization depends on complexity of stimulus  Study with babies used two different groups and 10 trials – one group saw a 4x4 checkerboard and one, a 12x12 checkerboard – the 4x4 (more simple) checkerboard showed habituation immediately but the 12x12 in trial 2 shows sensitization and then habituation Other race effect – able to recognize our own races’ faces better than other  Caucasian children (2 groups) presented with 1 Asian face or Caucasian face, they were 3.5 months old – they were shown the faces until they showed habituation and then the faces they were seeing were altered (70% familiar face and 30% alternate race) – if infants could detect change in features there would be more loo
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