E3 Innate and Learned Behaviour Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in E3 Innate and Learned Behaviour Deck (7)
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Describe innate behaviour

• Develop independently of the environmental context
• Controlled by genes and inherited from parents
• Uniform throughout population
• Product of natural selection
• e.g. suckling instinct in newborns, hunting instinct in some dogs


Describe learned behaviour

• Develops as a result of experience
• Modified by trial and error
• Variation within population
• Capacity to learn may be innate (language in humans, learning period)
• e.g. dolphin learning to perform, learning to drive a car, domestication of animals


Define taxis

An innate directional response to a (directional) stimulus


Define kinesis

An innate non-directional response to a stimulus


Discuss how the process of learning can improve the chances of survival

Learning involves acquiring information from past experiences to adapt to new situations. Organisms capable of learning can modify their behaviours in response to environmental change in order to survive
• Animals learn how to avoid dangerous situations and predators
• Birds learn that scarecrows pose no actual threat, and so eat crops
• Animals can learn who their mother is and stay close to avoid predators
• Animals learn how to hunt and obtain food


Outline Pavlov's experiment

• Dogs normally salivate (unconditioned response) in anticipation of being fed (unconditioned stimulus)
• Pavlov sounded a bell (neutral stimulus) prior to feeding a dog
• After many repetitions, the dog came to associate the bell with food and began to salivate when the bell was rung (conditioned response)


Outline the role of inheritance and learning in the development of birdsong in young birds

• Birdsong has both inherited and learned components
• Each species has a species-specific crude template which is genetically inherited
• Within a species, birds have varied song, as they can learn to improve the song they have inherited
• After hatching there is a 'sensitive period' lasting about 100 days during which birds listen to adult song and modify their template
• If a bird does not hear song within this period, it will not modify its template.
• The second phase is a motor phase in which the young bird practices singing the song it has learnt