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Psychology (1,899)
PSY352H5 (15)
Chapter 2

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Robert Gerlai

Chapter 2 Controlling Behaviour: The Role of the Nervous System  some hormone-mediated short-term ctrl does take place,  the proximate (short-term) ctrl of behaviour is largely the job of the specialist cells of the nervous system Key Points  @ proximate lvl, animal behaviours ctrld partly by nervous system (provides rapid information transfer w/i animal, links sensory input to central processing + motor responses)  many behaviour types described as reflexes, stimuli (releasers) can be very specific or more general  animals have a range of strategies to maximize efficiency of information gathering and behavioural performance  nerves alone do not ctrl behaviour, interaction b/w animal + environment very important Stimulating a Behaviour fixed action patterns (FAPs)  instinctive class of behaviours: performed perfectly first time and w/o pratice/tuition  o instinctive behaviours not genetically determined + can be modified  Yawns classified under this behaviour (6 seconds, fully open mouth, nearly impossible to stop)  FAPs (incl. yawns) triggered by somthing (stimulus) called releasing mechanism/releaser  o ex. a yawn is a releaser for another yawn  Herring gulls (Larus agentatus)  o parent-infant regurgitation for feeding o  chick pecking at adult beak releaser for regurgitation reflex  bright red spot on adults beak tip initiates chick pecking o Chicks must have o 1. innate ability to recognize appropriate stimuli 2. behaviour = innate reflex released by appropriate stimulus 3. chick doesn't need other cues that describe parent; focus is on stimulus 4. degree of flexibility in behaviour b/c non-herring-gull-type stimuli worked just as well to initiate chick pecking Components of the nervous system  "knee-jerk" reflex occurs b/c  o small hammer tapping stretches specialist receptor cells called muscle spindles in quadriceps (on top of thigh) o receptors pass info to sensory neurons o sensory neurons pass info to motor neurons o motor neurons cause quadriceps to contract making leg extend w/ a jerk Neurons  main building block of nervous system  receive, sort, pass info that cause animal to behave (in a proximate sense)  have s
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