Textbook Notes (368,439)
Canada (161,878)
Psychology (2,971)
PSY100H1 (1,821)
Joordens (19)
Chapter 40

Psychology Chapter 40

7 Pages
Unlock Document


Chapter 40: Animal Behaviour ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR – the responses of animals to specific internal and external stimuli 40.1 GENES, ENVIRONMENT, AND BEHAVIOUR  Learning illustrates how some behavioral patterns are acquired rather than inherited  No behaviours is determined entirely by genetics or entirely by environmental factors  Behaviours develop through complex gene-environment interactions INSTINCTIVE BEHAVIOUR – a genetically “programmed” response that appears in complete and functional form the first time it is used LEARNED BEHAVIOUR – a response of an animal that is dependent on having a particular kind of experience during development  Is the White-crowned sparrow singing a song that is instinctive behaviour or learned behaviour? - Marler tested the hypothesis - He took chicks from nests and reared them in individually sound proof cages - Some heard the song at 10 – 50 days of age while others didn’t - Juvenile males in both groups started to vocalize in 150 days - At about 200 days the chicks that heard the song could produce the song, while the chick who didn’t hear the song could not produce that particular song - Thus white crowned sparrows are able to sing a song through learned behaviour  Some behaviours have a stronger instinctive component than others and vice versa 40.2 INSTINCT  Instinctive behaviours presumable can be performed without the benefit of previous experience  We assume that they have a very strong genetic basis and that the natural selection has preserved them as adaptive behaviours FIXED ACTION PATTERNS – a highly stereotyped instinctive behaviour; when triggered by a specific cue, it is performed over and over in almost exactly the same way ex. Herring Gull chicks use a begging response, they peck at the red spot in their parent’s bill to gain food  These fixed action patterns are triggered by sign stimuli  Natural selection has molded the behaviour of some parasitic species to exploit the relationship between sign stimuli and fixed action patterns for their own benefit - Brood parasites leave their eggs in the hosts nest, ad when they hatch with the hosts chicks, they mimic the hosts chicks to obtain food  Although instinctive behaviours are often performed completely the first time and animal responds to a stimulus, they can be modified by an individual’s experience  Behavioral differences between individuals may reflect genetic differences because performance of instinctive behaviours does not depend on previous experience  Arnold studied innate responses of captive newborn garter snakes to olfactory stimuli provided by potential food items they had never before encountered - Coastal population = eat banana slugs from birth - Inland population = did not grow up with banana slugs and thus have no experience eating them - 85% of newborn coastal snakes routinely ate the slugs - 17% of the inland snakes ate the slugs even if there was no other food provided  genetic differences between individuals can translate into behavioral differences between them  alleles determine the kinds of enzymes that cells can produce, influencing biochemical pathways involved in the development of an animals’ nervous system  the resulting neurological differences can translate into a behavioral difference between individuals that have certain alleles and those that do not 40.3 LEARNING  unlike instinctive behaviours, learned behaviours are not performed completely the first time an animal responds to a specific stimulus  different types of learning occur under different environmental circumstances IMPRINTING – occurs when animals learn the identity of a caretaker or the key features of a suitable mate during a critical period  Lorenz, a founder of ethology, tended a group of newly hatched Greylag Geese, they imprinted on him rather than on an adult of their own species  Male geese not only followed Lorenz, but at sexual maturity, they also courted animals ETHOLOGY – a discipline that focuses on how animals behave CLASSICAL CONDITIONING – a type of learning in which an animal develops a mental association between two phenomena that are usually unrelated  In Pavlov’s experiment: - Unconditioned stimulus: food - Conditioned stimulus: bell  Operant conditioning, trial and error learning - Animals earn to link a voluntary activity, an operant, with its favourable consequence, a reinforcement - Rat will explore a cage, when it presses a bar that releases food, the hungry rat will learn to press the bar when hungry  Insight learning - occurs when an animal can abruptly learn to solve problems without apparent trial-and-error attempts to the solution - chimps were able to reach a banana hung high by stacking boxes on top of one another  Habituation - Occurs when animals lose their responsiveness to frequent stimuli not quickly followed by the usual reinforcement - Habituation can save the animal the time and E of responding to stimuli that are no longer important 40.4 NEUROPHYSIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR  Research in neuroscience has shown that all behavioral responses, depend on an elaborate physiological foundation provided by the biochemistry and structure of nerve cells  Nerve cells that regulate an innate response make it possible for an animal to learn something are products of a complex developmental process  An individual’s experiences alter the cells of its nervous system in ways that produce patterns of behaviour  Neuroscientists have identified nuclei, clusters of nerve cells that make song learning and song production possible  Every behavioral trait appears to have its own neural basis  Zebra’s Finches ability to discriminate between the song of neighbors and those of strangers involves a nucleus in the forebrain cells  Cells in this nucleus fire frequently the first time the Zebra Finch hears the song of a new conspecific  As the song is played again and again, the cells of this nucleus cease to respond, indicating that the bird has become habituated to a now familiar song  When a Zebra Finch hears the elements of its species’ song, a gene called zenk becomes active in the brain, producing an enzyme that changes the structure and function of neurons  These events trigger additional changes in the bird’s brain, affecting its actions  In this way, a territory owner learns to ignore a singing neighbor and attacks non- neighbors 40.5 HORMONES AND BEHAVIOUR HORMONES – are chemical signals that can trigger the performance of specific behaviours - Often work by regulating the development of neurons and neural networks or by stimulating cells within endocrine organs to release chemical signals  Just as estrogen influences the development of singing ability in Zebra Finches, other hormones mediate the development of the nervous system in other species  A change in the [ ] of a certain hormone can be the physiological trigger that induces important changes in an animal’s behaviour as it matures  In honeybees, juvenile hormones stimulates genes in certain brain cells to produce proteins that affect functions of the nervous system  Octopamine is a product that stimulates neural transmissions and reinforces memories – it occurs in higher [ ] in older bees  Hormones and genes interact to affect behaviour  The African cichlid fish illustrates how hormones regulate reproductive behaviour  Territory holders are brightly colours and exhibit elaborate behavioral displays  Non-territorial males are much less colourful and aggressive and do not control a patch of suitable nesting habitat  Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) causes differences in the behaviour of fish  Levels of GnRH are useful predictors of territorial behaviour  The fish’s brain has cells that can change their biochemistry, structure, and function in response to well defined social stimuli  These physiological changes make it possible for the fish to modify its behaviour depending on its social circumstances 40.6 NEURAL ANATOMY AND BEHAVIOUR  Some specific behaviours are produced by anatomical structures in an animal’s nervous system  The nervous systems of many species allow them to respond rapidly to key stimuli  Often sensory
More Less

Related notes for PSY100H1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.