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Behavioral Biology

Behavioral Biology

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Behavioral Biology

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  1. Behavioral Biology Introduction Learning Animal Cognition Social Behavior

  2. Introduction • What an animal does and how he does it • Ultimate causation-evolutionary reason for the existence of a behavior • Proximate causation-immediate cause or mechanism underlying a behavior • Genetic- innate (nature) and environmental-learned (nurture)

  3. Classical Ethology • Fixed-action pattern-(instinct) triggered by an external sign stimulus. Example: feeding behavior in birds-begging of hatchling, triggered by parent landing in nest • Lorenz, Tinbergen, and von Frish • Imprinting-limited to a specific time period in animal’s life, irreversible

  4. Conrad Lorenz and Imprinted Goslings

  5. Genetics and Behavior • Directed Movements: 1. Kinesis- simple change in activity in response to a stimulus 2. Taxis-automatic +/- movement in response to a stimulus 3. Migration-”migratory restlessness” Animal Signals and Communication Chemical (pheromones) and auditory

  6. Moist site under leaf Dry open area (a) Kinesis increases the chance that a sow bug will encounter and stay in a moist environment. Figure 51.7a Lab 11

  7. Direction of river current (b) Positive rheotaxis keeps trout facing into the current, the direction from which most food comes. An example of Taxis: Rheotaxis

  8. Environment and Learning • Modification of behavior by experience • Learning vs. maturation (behaviors improve, but due to development of neuromuscular systems) • Habituation-learning to ignore irrelevant stimuli • Spatial Learning-learning based on experience with the spatial structure of the environment • Associative learning-classical conditioning, operant conditioning • Cognition and Problem Solving-ability of an animal to perceive, store, process, and use information gathered by sensory receptors

  9. Animal Cognition • Ability to perceive, store, process and use information • Cognitive maps-internal representations of the spatial relationships among objects in the animal’s environment (kinesis and taxis) • Migration-regular movements over long distances. Uses: piloting, orientation and/or navigation

  10. Social Behaviors • Agonistic behavior-contest of threatening ands submissive behavior that determines which competitor gains access to a resource • Dominance hierarchies • Territoriality • Mating behaviors • Altruism

  11. Societies • Group of interacting and cooperating members within a population • Communication! • Pack, pride, school, flock, herd, hive, and many other terms designate types of societies • Inclusive fitness and altruism

  12. Videos and Websites • http://vimeo.com/6217895 • http://blogs.cornell.edu/gp08ha1115/files/2010/04/Big-Bang-Theory-OB-21.mp4