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Comparative Psychology Exam 1 Study Guide

by: Resi Ridner

Comparative Psychology Exam 1 Study Guide psy 3100 Comparative Psychology

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Resi Ridner

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This is a collection of all book notes, chapters 1 through 4, and class lecture notes. It is the form I of studying that i have found allows me to study and learn to my highest ability.
Comparative Psychology
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This 36 page Study Guide was uploaded by Resi Ridner on Tuesday February 2, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to psy 3100 Comparative Psychology at a university taught by Foerder in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 180 views.

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Date Created: 02/02/16
Comparative psych: Exam 1 Study Guide  Why study Animal Behavior?  Some researchers study behavior to  Conserve and protect endangered species  Understand the actions of economically important predators, pests and parasites.  Understand domesticated animals to better serve our own needs.  Improve the welfare of animals particularly those in captivity so as to preserve and exhibit them for the education of humanity.  How do we study Animal Behavior?  Conceptual approaches  Theoretical approaches  Empirical approaches  Scientific method:  Observe behavior- ask a question  Create a hypothesis  Design an experiment to test that hypothesis o Can be an manipulative or unmanipulative  History of Animal Behavior:  Aristotle wrote ten volumes on the natural history of animals, showing the first extensive use of the observational method.  Charles Darwin made observations of animals in their natural setting while sailing to South America  Natural selection environment and genetics  Gregor Mendel established key principles of the laws of inheritance of biological characteristics on his experiments with garden peas (genes)  John Watson is the principal founder of the school of behaviorism.  B.F. Skinner’s theories of learning  Edward Thorndike studied the basics of learning theory on cats.  Konrad Lorenz looked at imprinting (geese)  Imprinting=genetically programmed behavior  Found that there is this period that they would follow the first thing they saw.  Releasing Stimuli -specific types of stimulation for young animals during critical periods of early development.  Curious about the releasing stimuli  Niko Tinbergen developed the scheme with which modern ethology is founded.  The 4 questions, or 4 whys:  Causation (proximate) - what are the mechanisms?  what is causing this animal to behave in this way?  Development (ontogeny )- how does it develop?  what stages takes place for this behavior to develop?  Evolution (phylogenic) - how did it evolve?  how did this behavior come about over time?  Function- what is its purpose or survival value?  what is the animal getting out of doing this? Reward? Example: Example #2  Karl Von Frisch  Comparative psychology- study of behavioral mechanism in animals, in relation to those in humans using similar methods as human psychology.  Ethology- descriptive science based on studies of animals in the natural environment.  Behavioral ecology- study of how both natural and sexual selection can account for and predict the behavioral patterns we observe in organisms.  Ethogram-list of behaviors of a particular species  Fixed Action Pattern (FAP)  highly stereotyped behavior/response to a particular stimulus  Stereotyped responses to specific cues or stimuli called sign stimuli or releasing stimuli.  The behavior must be:  Stereotyped within an individual  Stereotyped across the species  Must survive in an isolation experiment  Examples: goose with egg out of nest, chicken taking a dust bath even with no dust, red bellied fish.  Basically, once this behavior has started, it has to continue all the way, there can’t be a disruption in the movement of the behavior it has to finish until the end.  Sign Stimulus/Releaser  the actual stimulus that triggers a FAP  Can be an object or signal from another animal  Supernormal stimulus = Artificial stimulus that elicits a particular behavior more easily than the appropriate normal stimulus.  Fixed action pattern is to do whatever helps them to survive.  Oyster catcher birds, they will sit on the bigger egg because that is the likely egg to survive better. Evolution  Why is there so much Diversity amongst animals? This is what evolution is all about.  Caroulus Linnaeus:  Taxonomy: a classification of living things, usually heiarchial.  The tree of life: Created the system of binomial nomenclature for naming organisms (genus, species)  Before Darwin and his Ideas on Evolution:  We know that:  Species changed over time  That some animals went extinct  Different species came at different times  And that different species seemed relatable or similar to one another.  Early definition of evolution: the development of new types of living organisms from pre- existing types.  Lamarck’s theory of use and disuse: evolution occurs by phenotypic adaptation and passing that adaptation on to offspring, the inheritance of acquired traits.  Darwin is considered father of modern biology because of his ideas on natural selection: The theory of evolution by Natural Selection as the mechanism for adaptation. He found evidence for evolution and natural selection.  All species descended from one or a few original species = ‘Descent with modification’ (Darwin’s definition of evolution)= the theory of common descent  Key mechanism- natural selection  No supernatural intervention  All species descended from one or a few original species = ‘Descent with modification’ (Darwin’s definition of evolution)  Darwin’s 4 Postulates (Evolution by natural selection is INEVITABLE if these 4 postulates are true):  Individuals within populations vary  Some variations are passed on to offspring (different heritable traits)  Many more offspring are produced than can survive and reproduce (not all offspring survive! Chance based on environment, disease, etc.).  Survival and reproduction are not random o Individuals with favorable traits will produce more offspring over their lifetime than individuals with less favorable traits: This is natural selection. o Adaptive trait = increases the ability of an individual to survive and reproduce relative to individuals without the trait  natural selection will leave to evolutionary change only if the phenotypic differences are due to genotypic differences  phenotype: physical and behavioral traits  genotype: “blueprints” alleles present in an organism  Evidence for Evolution:  Domesticated organisms change through artificial selection  Evidence suggests:  Species can change over time  Different types of descendants from one ancestor are possible  Selection can lead to evolution  The existence and organization of fossils  Species change through time  Extinctions (Irish elk, dodo bird)  Law of succession = fossil species in a given area are succeeded by similar living species  Transitional forms - some fossils show intermediate characteristics between living taxa (fossils resemble animals we have now, but seem to have evolved over time for different circumstances and environments.)  Vestigial Structures –– structures/organs that appear to have no function but do have a function in closely related organisms - function can change faster than structure  Similarity of characteristics  Likeness’ or similarities of animals have been recognized for centuries  Homology (old definitions): o study of ‘likeness’ o “the same organ in different animals under every variety of form and function” o Suggests common origin of structures o (in some common ancestor) o Examples from 4 types of characteristics...  Homoplasy  Human appendix  Whale femur and pelvis  Goosebumps (vestigial structures)  Developmental homology (molecular homology):  Animals that have different adult forms and functions look similar during development  Mutations - change in the DNA (base pair substitutions/deletions etc)  Gene flow – the movement of genes from one population to another  Sexual Reproduction – genetic shuffling results from reproduction  wrong because: we did not evolve from chimpanzees, we evolved from a common ancestor somewhere in the past. (TAXA)  kinds of Evolution:  convergent evolution: process by which distantly related organisms develop similar traits due to similar selective pressures.  Divergent evolution: process by which multiple species evolve from a single ancestor and become less similar over time due to the exploitation of different ecological niches  Ex. Galapagos finches  Parallel evolution: process by which similar traits evolve independently in related species that occupy different habitats  Ex. Elephant and wooly mammoth  Ancestral Trait: one that has been present for a long time and is shared by many species- limited in helping map phylogeny of related species  Ex. Wings on birds  Derived Trait: one that has arisen relatively recently- define evolutionary relationships better than ancestral traits because they are not shared by all taxa  Ex. Feathers on legs - Indirect fitness= how much you share with your relatives.  Can we provide evidence that natural selection is true?  We can actually see evolution happening within periods of time by watching environments change around animals, and adaptations naturally happening.  Just because a trait exists does not mean it is adaptive:  Natural selection is not the only evolutionary force  Selection pressures change over time  Not all traits are heritable  Don’t have full independence of all traits  It happens by chance.  Having a need does not cause selection  Evolution is not progressive:  Environments vary over time  Variation is not always present  Tradeoff I help you, you help me.  Adaptation: traits that change with environmental or behavioral pressures that increase fitness.  Ex. Bird beaks have adapted over time to allow each bird to find food in their own separate/different environments.  Evolution gone bad:  Wood ducks and brood parasitism adult ducks lay eggs in other nests, and allow their chicks to be raised by foster parents. There is too much egg dumping-nest abandonment. Zero fitness!  Sexual selection:  The advantage which certain individuals have over others of the same sex and species.  It takes both males and females  Involves genetic variation and selection for certain traits.  Darwin’s question: (ex. peacock) why do some animals have certain traits that do not necessarily help them survive except to possibly survive through sexual attraction. (The peacock does not have an advantage over survival because of their burdensome tail, therefore they are more succeptible to being attacked by a predator due to their slowness etc. However, their tails are important to their survival as a species because they allow attraction of other peacocks, allowing sexual selection, therefore producing offspring.)  Evolution of behavior:  (Plain old) Evolution- change at the level of the species  Microevolution- genetic change within populations (tree moths blending in with bark)  Macroevolution- evolutionary patterns of behavior recognizable above the species level  Adaptive radiation  Comparative approach  Genetics:  Chromosomes  Makes up the genetic blueprint  Number of chromosomes varies by species  Diploid- 2 copies from each parent  Haploid- one copy  Genes- sections of DNA that have a particular function  Only known function is to code for synthesis of proteins  Alleles-two or more alternative forms of genes  Both the same gene, just two alternative forms of the gene.  Ex. One form is darker than the other when looking at flowers as in the figure shown.  Mendelian genetics:  Recessive vs. dominant (S, s)  Pea experiment, wrinkled vs. smooth peas.  Different types of genes do different things  The system is flexible;  Genes are not always working  Behavior  Environment  Age  Sources of genetic variation:  Mutations  Change in the structure of DNA  1 per 100,000 copies  Humans have 100,000 genes  Genetic recombination:  Sexual reproduction-recombination involves the crossing over of chromosome pieces during cell division.  Gametes are haploid (n)  Somatic cells are diploid (2n)  Migration- introduces new trait variants to populations  Knockout genes: is one that has been targeted for disruption so that it no longer functions normally ( making obese rats)  Nature vs. nurture:  Trait – a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act.  Attitude – feelings, often based on our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events.  Parents influence children’s attitudes, values, manners, faith, and politics.  Temperament – a person’s characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity  Gene-environment interaction  Interaction – the effect of one factor (such as environment) depends on another factor (such as heredity). 1/26/16 Class Notes – Proximate Causes of Behavior  Two ways we ask “what causes behavior?”:  Proximate- How?  During an animals lifetime  Immediate  Ultimate- answers why?  Over generations evolutionary  The action potential- a neural impulse, a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. The action potential is “all or none.”  Neurotransmitters- Chemical messengers the traverse the synaptic gap between neurons. When release by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to the receptor sites on the recieving neuron thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.  Synapse – the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap of at this junction is call the synaptic gap or cleft.  Threshold: Each neuron receives excitatory and inhibitory signals from many neurons. When the excitatory signals minus the inhibitory signals exceed a minimum intensity (threshold) the neuron fires an action potential.  excitatory neuron tells brain to “flee” but at the same time the inhibitory neuron is working to decide whether you should “flee” or whether it is unneeded.  Nerves:  Nerve - neural cables containing many axons.  Sensory Neurons – neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the CNS.  Motor Neurons – neurons that carry outgoing information from the CNS to the muscles and glands  Interneurons – CNS neurons the internally communicate and intervene between sensory inputs and motor outputs.  Processing sensory Information:  The strength of stimulation can be signaled in two ways  Many neurons can fire at once.  Frequency of spikes can vary with signal strength.  The Brain:  Cerebrum- Motor coordination of voluntary movements & sensory perception/integration  Thalamus- Integrates sensory information  Hypothalamus- Homeostasis  Hippocampus-Learning and memory  Cerebellum– Equilibrium, balance  Pons- Links cerebellum with other brain centers  Medulla- Regulates heart rate  Sensory Receptors:  Sensation- The process of transducing stimuli into action potentials.  Different sensory receptors:  Photoreceptores- light  Chemoreceptors - taste and smell  Mechanoreceptors-touch, pressure  Thermoreceptors-temperature  Electroreceptors-electric currents  How does the brain decide fight or flight?  From ganglion cells to the optic tectum to the thalamus.  Specific neurons in the thalamus respond only to wormlike stimuli.  Called a Feature Detector  Feature detectors have Receptive Fields  Neuroplasticity- Ability of the brain to recover from damage  Networks are always changing  Reflexes- stereotyped responses to particular stimuli  Control Pattern Generators  Sets of neurons that control repetitive behavior (i.e. walking, scratching, chewing)  Sensory input is not necessary to keep the movements going  FAPs? (fixed action patterns)  Ex. The brain tells the CPGs to “walk,” and then you begin walking.  Advantages of studying simpler (invertebrate) neural systems:  Behaviors are more simple and stereotyped - easier to characterize fully  Neurons are fewer and larger  Neurons are individually identifiable  Nervous system is tractable – can dissect out parts  Command neurons: single or small group of interneurons that are both necessary and sufficient to initiate stereoptyped motor pattern Endocrine gland Interaction: o Synergism- Hormones that are secreted together and whose action depends on each other o Antagonism- The effects of two hormones that occur in circulation together act in opposition  Sex hormones:  Testosterone (T)  Secreted by the testes and small amounts from ovaries  Male sex hormone  Important for development of sex characteristics and behavior- affects the whole body, including the brain  Estrogen (E)  Secreted by ovaries and other organs  Female sex hormone  Important for development of sex characteristics in females, masculinization of the brain in males Class Notes chapter 3 (1/28/16)  Methods for Studying Animal Behavior:  A hypothesis must be testable  What are you trying to accept or reject? The null hypothesis  Scientific Method Example:  Correlation and Causality: - Correlation-Two variables that vary together predictably - Correlation does not demonstrate causality - Because we have a correlation does not mean we know one thing predicts another.  Hypotheses and theories:  Research hypothesis  Explanation based on assumptions that makes a testable prediction  Scientific theory  Hypothesis that makes many predictions, has been tested hundreds or thousands of times by many different scientists, and has not been rejected  Negative results and directional hypotheses  Negative results  When scientists do not reject the null hypothesis  Directional hypothesis  Predicts specifically how the variable under examination will affect a particular behavior  Fitness  Relative survivorship and reproductive success  Ability to survive and produce viable offspring  Q: how does this behavior help the animal survive?  Anthropomorphism  Attributing human motivations, characteristics, or emotions to animals  Anthropomorphic explanations of behavior assign human emotions to animals and can be difficult to test  Examples: giving animals humanistic characteristics, such as conversation or laughing, or dancing.  (picture #1  panda laughing, when really she is probably scratching her face.)  (Picture #2  guilty look behind dogs--- dialogue given: “I am sorry I am bad. Please forgive me and love me for my bad.” “Guilty look” likely represents submissive behavior in response to scolding.)  The experimental Method:  Experimental method- Manipulate or change a variable to examine how it affects the behavior of the animal  Independent variable- Variable that is changed by researcher  Dependent variable-Variable measured in response to change in the independent variable  Control group- Group that does not experience manipulation  The comparative Method:  Examine differences and similarities between species to understand the evolution of behaviors  Ancestral (plesiomorphic) traits  Found in common ancestor of two or more species  Derived (apomorphic) traits  Found in more recently evolved species and not present in common ancestor  Laboratory Ethics:  Studies used to advance knowledge of science  How do animals work?  How do diseases work?  Technical laboratory procedures  To ensure safety of drugs, vaccines, food additives, household products, workplace chemicals, cosmetics, water, air pollutants, etc.  To meet legal requirements  Legislation:  Laboratory Animal Welfare Act (1966)  Transport, sale, & handling of animals, and licensing of dealers to prevent pet theft & sale to research facilities.  Covered dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits.  Morphed into Animal Welfare Act  Enforced by USDA APHIS  Created Animal Welfare Information Center to provide database of alternatives to painful animal experiments.  Required research facilities using protected species to register with USDA & establish an Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee to review experimental protocols involving live, warm-blooded animals.  Any live or dead dog, cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or other warm-blooded animal used for use for research, teaching, testing, experimentation, or exhibition purposes, or as a pet.  Excludes: birds, rats of the genus Rattus & mice of the genus Mus bred for use in research, & horses not used for research purposes, and other farm animals used for food or fiber, or used for improving animal nutrition, breeding, management, or production efficiency, or for improving the quality of food or fiber.  The term dog means all dogs, including those used for hunting, security, or breeding purposes.  IACUC:  Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee  Reviews all proposed animal experiments  Inspects animal facilities twice a year to ensure compliance with federal regulations  Committee consists of at least 5 members: o Doctor of veterinary medicine responsible for animal care at the institution. o At least one scientist experienced in animal research o A professional whose primary concerns are not scientific (e.g., an ethicist, clergyperson, or lawyer) o Someone not affiliated with the institution in any way who represents the interests of the community at large o -Scientists- statisticians, biologists & psychologists, o Student representative  The 3 Rs:  Reduction:  Reducing number of animals used in experiments:  Based on minimum number required to obtain statistically relevant data  Using animals for multiple studies, or gaining more information from each animal  Use of statistics can influence animal welfare  Too many animals = unnecessary suffering  Too few animals = inconclusive results & need to repeat experiment  Refinement:  Refining procedures to minimize pain and distress in animals and providing for their behavioral needs.  alleviating or minimizing potential pain and distress  Comprehensive program of veterinary care necessary for refinement  Proper use of anesthetics, analgesics, and tranquilizers  Frequent observation of animals by trained veterinary staff to detect and relieve pain and distress.  Depends on ability of scientists to observe and understand behavior and needs of laboratory animals.  Replacement:  Replacing experiments involving whole animals with in vitro models  e.g., tissue and cell culture  Relative replacement:  Humane killing of a vertebrate animal to provide cells, tissues, or organs for in vitro studies  Use of organisms with limited sentience, e.g., embryos, invertebrates, plants, and microorganisms  Absolute replacement: No animals need to be used at all (e.g., the culture of human cells and tissues or computer models) Chapter 1 Book Notes:  Recognizing and Defining Behavior:  Animal behavior- any internally coordinated, externally visible pattern of activity that responds to changing external or internal conditions.  Internally coordinated- refers to internal information-processing such as endocrine signaling, sensory information processing, or the action of neurotransmitters.  Externally visible activity- refers to patterns that we can observe and measure.  Ex. We can observe a squirrel eating an acorn and can quantify this behavior. We cannot externally observe the variation in a lizard’s heart rate.  We can observe an animal’s behavioral response to changing conditions  Ex. Male crickets, frogs, and birds vocalize in response to changes in day length, temperature, or moisture at specific times of the year  Measuring behavior:  Ethogram- which is a formal description or inventory of an animal’s behaviors.  Typically list or catalogue defined, discrete behaviors that a particular species exhibits.  Researchers can use an ethogram ad measure how many times a behavior occurs (its frequency), the length of time of a behavior (its duration), the frequency of the behavior per unit time (its rate), or the vigor or forcefulness of the behavior (its intensity).  Time budget- indicates the total time and relative frequency of each behavior listed in an ethogram.  Process of science- which involves observing events, organizing knowledge, and providing testable explanations.  the process of science is fundamental to our understanding of the natural world.  Research involves discovering, reevaluating, and interpreting the evidence.  The scientific Method:  A formalized process that involves the testing of hypotheses  This process often begins with an observation of a single event or pattern that requires explanation.  Research question- a brief statement of something that we would like to understand.  Research hypothesis- an explanation based on assumptions that produces a testable prediction.  Research hypotheses are evaluated using two statistical hypotheses that reflect the two possible outcomes:  One is that the proposed explanation for the observation does have a significant effect  alternate hypothesis  The other possible outcome is that the proposed explanation does not have a significant effect the null hypothesis (H0).  The more times a hypothesis has been tested and not rejected, the more confidence the scientific community has in the explanation.  Scientific theories- provide a conceptual framework that explains many phenomena and are well supported by observations and experimental tests.  Scientific theories are well-substantiated explanations that form the basis of our understanding of the natural world.  Animal behavior research, whether conducted by biologists or psychologists, uses the scientific method to formulate and test hypotheses.  Negative results and directional hypotheses:  Negative results indicate that the alternate hypothesis does not explain the behavior being examined.  Hypotheses can also be directional or nondirectional, depending on the specificity of the hypothesis.  A directional alternate hypothesis predicts specifically how the variable under examination will affect a particular behavior—positively or negatively—whereas a nondirectional alternate hypothesis usually offers no specific prediction of how the variable will affect behavior.  Researchers use a nondirectional hypothesis when they do not have a specific prediction about an animal’s response.  Generating hypotheses:  Where do hypotheses come from?  Hypotheses are created by scientists to explain some observation, which for our purposes is a behavior exhibited by animals.  Researchers also construct hypotheses by considering how natural selection might have acted on the behavior to produce a behavioral adaptation.  Ask the question “how does the observed behavior affect the fitness of the animal?”  Fitness here is defined as the survivorship and reproductive success of an individual.  Scientists often use equations to clarify arguments and assumptions. The resulting mathematical models can generate predictions about which behaviors maximize an individual’s fitness  All models about behavior are based on assumptions about the ecology and evolution of an organism.  The advantage of mathematical models is that they allow scientists ot easily manipulate their assumptions to produce new predictions about behavior.  Anthropomorphism- the tendency to attribute human motivations, characteristics, or emotions to animals.  While anthropomorphic thinking rarely produces testable predictions, we do not want to dismiss the possibility that animals experience emotions.  Cognitive ethology, attempts to understand animal cognitive, or thought, processes.  Scientific literacy- the ability to evaluate scientific information critically and ascertain its validity. Chapter summary: pp. 19 Chapter 2 Book Notes:  Evolution by Natural Selection Favors Behavioral Adaptations that Enhance Fitness:  Artificial selection- “artificially” done by humans  Natural selection—the differential reproduction and survivorship among individuals within a population.  Natural selection can result in changes in allele frequencies in a population over time—a process that we recognize as evolution.  Darwin articulated 3 conditions required for evolution by natural selection:  Variation exists among individuals in a population in the traits they possess  Individuals different traits are, at least in part, heritable. Traits can be passed from parents to their offspring so that offspring resemble their parents in the traits they possess  Traits confer differences in survivorship and reproduction, a measure we call fitness: individuals with certain traits will have higher fitness, while those with other traits will have lower fitness relative to one another. Therefore, the fitness of individuals is not random; it is based on the traits they possess.  Measures of heritability:  Aren’t-offspring regression- analysis examines the similarity between parents and their offspring in terms of the traits they possess.  There should be a positive relationship between offspring and parent trait values  Selection experiment method, different groups of individuals are subjected to differential selection on the trait in question.  Variation within a population:  Individuals differ in their genetic composition  Because individuals in any population differ genetically, they will also tend to vary in their behavior.  Changes in environmental conditions can change the fitness of different traits and so maintain much variation in the frequencies of different alleles.  Many behaviors develop as a consequence of both genetic and environmental effects.  Many complex behaviors require learning and so are modified with experience.  Adaptations- traits that confer a selective advantage  Modes of Natural selection:  Directional selection- occurs when individuals with one extreme trait value possess the highest fitness.  Disruptive selection- occurs when individuals with either of two extreme trait values have the highest fitness.  Stabilizing selection- occurs when individuals with intermediate trait values have the highest fitness in a particular environment.  Studying adaptation: the cost-benefit approach:  Optimal trait value- under all modes of selection, the trait value that confers the highest fitness in a particular environment.  Cost-benefit approach- we see that natural selection is an optimizing process that allows us to understand adaptations by describing the fitness benefits and costs of different phenotypes.  This illustrates a common method used to study behavioral adaptations: identify fitness costs and benefits of different traits to determine which trait has the highest net benefit.  Individual and group selection:  Individual selection- natural selection at the level of individuals  Many social animals display cooperative behavior, helping others to survive and reproduce.  Darwin speculated that selection may act on the entire colony rather than on individuals alone. (p. 34, game theory)  Group selection- selection acting on groups  Kin selection- in which individuals can increase their fitness by helping close relatives, because close relatives share the helper’s genes.  Individual selection can explain cooperation through inclusive fitness—both individual selection and the fitness obtained by helping close relatives  Multilevel selection- selection on groups, they argue, may be stronger than selection on individuals, but only in the right circumstances: groups must be small, and there must be minimal movement of individuals between groups.  Sexual selection- a form of natural selection that acts on heritable traits that affect reproduction  Darwin himself proposed that many traits observed in males and females of a species are due to sexual selection and often result in sexual dimorphism, or morphological differences between the sexes. Chapter summary pp. 37 Chapter 3 Book Notes  Different types of research by outlining four basic questions that can be asked about animal behavior: 1. What is the mechanism that causes the behavior? 2. How does the behavior develop?  Answers to questions 1 and 2 are often referred to as proximate explanations because they focus on understanding the immediate causes of a behavior.  These explanations often incorporate studies of genetics, sensory systems, neurons, hormones, and learning.  Studies of the hormonal changes that trigger the migration behavior of birds and examinations of the genetic basis of and learning required for migration are examples of proximate explanations. 3. What is the function of the behavior? 4. How did the behavior evolve?  Questions 3 and 4 are known as ultimate explanations, because they require evolutionary reasoning and analysis.  Understanding the effects of migration on survivorship and why migration evolved are examples of ultimate explanations.  Three common methods used in behavioral research are the:  Observational method:  Scientists observe and record the behavior of an organism without manipulating the environment or the animal.  This method is commonly used both to test hypotheses and to describe behavioral patterns.  Ex. The observational method is used to construct ethograms.  Experimental method:  Scientists manipulate or change a variable to examine how it affects the behavior of the animal.  The variable that is changed is called the independent variable, and it can be anything that we measure, control, or manipulate.  It can be abiotic (temperature, humidity, wind)  Biotic (habitat, food availability, social interaction)  The dependent variable that occur in response to changes in the independent variable.  The control group does not experience the manipulation but is treated similarly in all other aspects.  The control group represents the null hypothesis, and the experimental group represents he alternate hypothesis.  Comparative Method:  Scientists examine differences and similarities between species to understand the evolution of behaviors.  Often sets of closely related species share similar behavioral adaptations because their shared ancestor possessed the behavioral trait.  By comparing the behavior of closely related species, researchers can try to understand whether a behavior is ancestral or derived.  Ancestral traits (plesimorphic traits) are found in a common ancestor.  To understand the evolution of behavioral traits, researchers often require knowledge of the evolutionary relationships among taxa (taxomonic groups) such as species.  Phylogeny- a hypothesized evolutionary history of a group of species.  A phylogeny illustrates our best understanding of the patterns of descent, showing ancestor-descendant relationships that reflect their evolutionary history  For example: two species that are more closely related to one another than to any other species share a recent common ancestor and are known as sister species.  History of Animal Behavior Research:  Darwin and Adaptation  Early comparative psychology  Comparative psychologists study animal behavior in order to understand human behavior in order to understand human behavior  For Romanes, an animal displayed a “mind,” or conscious action, rather than mere reflex reaction, when it used previous experiences to learn and modify its behavior in an adaptive manner.  Proposing that the simplest psychological process possible should be used to interpret an animal’s behavior – an idea that came to be known as Morgan’s canon  Thorndike:  Stressed the importance of avoiding anecdotal evidence.  He urged the use of repeated observations, under standardized conditions, to obtain appropriate sample sizes.  The thus pioneered the use of standardized methodology and the experimental method in the study of animal learning.  Behaviorism:  John Watson spearheaded the development of behaviorism, a field of comparative psychology that studies behavior independent of animal mental states or consciousness.  Behaviorists focused on what they could actually observe including the specific stimuli that provoked a response.  In this stimulus-response paradigm, both stimuli and responses could be external (behavior) or internal (physiology).  Classical conditioning occurs whenever a novel stimulus (like the ringing of a bell) is paired with an existing stimulus (here, the food) and elicits a particular response (salivation). Eventually the novel stimulus alone elicits the same response as the existing stimulus.  Skinner examined how the behavior of animals could be modified by pairing a particular behavior with either a reward or a punishment.  Behaviors could be enhanced if animals were given food rewards (a positive reinforcement) for performing the behavior.  Alternatively, these behaviors could be reduced if they resulted in a painful shock (a positive punishment).  Operant conditioning- an animal learns to associate a behavior with a particular consequence (either positive or negative).  Classical ethology:  Classical ethologists studied the behavior of wild animals in nature by observation and experimentation.  Classical ethologists were not psychologists interested in understanding human minds and behavior, but rather were interested in studying animals and their behavior for their own sake.  Imprinting in which a young animal learns the characteristics of its parent.  “imprint” on the sight and sound of their mother or other objects they see at hatching  There is a restricted period of time during which imprinting could occur.  Instinctive behaviors termed fixed action patterns are invariant and unlearned; once initiated they are brought to completion.  Releaser stimuli- initiates a fixed action pattern.  Interdisciplinary Approaches:  Evolutionary psychologists seek to understand human thinking and behavior, while cognitive ethologists focus on understanding the behavior of animals and often integrate information neuroscience.  Both fields assume that natural selection has shaped brain architecture and thought processes in an adaptive manner.  Suggest that we can best explain human behavior by understanding how natural selection shaped neural mechanisms in the psat.  Cognitive ethologists also seek to understand how natural selection has acted on mental processes and cognition in order to better understand the behavior of animals.  Cognitive ethologists study topics such as learning and memory; counting ability; symbol recognition; and vocal communication in organisms as diverse as bees, crows, rodents, and primates.  Behavioral ecology focuses on the evolution of behavior by studying its function.  Behavioral ecologists sometimes use mathematical or computer models to examine the fitness benefits and costs of a behavior.  Behavioral ecologists often emphasize ultimate explanations of behavior.  Ethical Animal Use:  Scientific misconduct- includes the falsification or fabrication of data, purposefully inappropriate analysis of data, and plagiarism.  Researchers studying animals must also consider how their work affects the individuals they study.  Manipulations of the animal’s environment can lead to still other unintended consequences.  Researchers also need to determine the fate of the animals when the research is completed.  Sources of ethical standards:  The national institutes of health office of animal care and use (NIH-OACU)  The department of agriculture animal and plant health inspection service (USDA-APHIS)  The association for the assessment and accreditation of laboratory animal care (AAALAC)  The American association for lab animal science (AALAS)  Animal care guidelines:  Animal behavior society,  American society of mammologists  The American fisheries society  The ornithological council  The American society of ichthyologists  the 3 Rs  replacement  means using or encouraging the use of computer modeling, videotapes, or other approaches in place of actual animals  reduction  refers to limiting the number of animals subject to disturbance in research or teaching  refinement  Involves improving procedures and techniques to minimize pain and stress for animals. Chapter summary pp. 55 Chapter 4 Book Notes  Behavioral Variation is associated with Genetic Variation  Individuals within and across populations display natural variation in their phenotype (observable traits such as behaviors and morphology.)  An individual’s behavior, or its behavioral phenotypic value (P), is the result of three factors:  Its genotype (G) at all loci that affect the behavior  The environment (E) it has experienced  Any interactions between them—more formally, gene- environment interactions (GEI)  Because individuals in captivity are usually reared in similar conditions, differences in behavior most likely result from differences in their genotypes.  Instinct- or innate behaviors  Innate behaviors include reflexes—involuntary and often immediate behavioral responses to an external stimulus  Fixed action pattern- a behavior that displays almost no variation and, once started, cannot be stopped until completed.  Major genes- individual genes that are responsible for the majority of phenotypic variation  Minor genes—genes that contribute to small amounts of variation (although the combination of many minor genes can have a large influence on a phenotype.)  How do researchers find specific genes?  Quantitative trait loci (QTL)—stretches of DNA that either contain or are linked to genes influencing a trait such as behavior  QTL mapping—is a statistical technique that combines genetic information with train information to determine which regions of the genome contain the genes that influence the trait.  This procedure can provide information on not only the number of genes involved but also their location on chromosomes  Candidate genes—major genes suspected of contributing to a large amount of the phenotypic variation in a specific trait.  Knockout technique—to disable a gene and examine the effect on behavior  This technique requires that a researcher know the location of a gene and its DNA sequence in order to alter the gene so it cannot function.  Individuals with an experimentally inactivated copy of a gene are known as knocked out individuals and their behavior is compared with that of wild types.  Knockouts are often created by disabling a gene that codes for a receptor for a specific gene product.  Lack of proper gene function modifies behavior so that individuals spend more time in risky locations.  The environment influences gene expression and behavior:  Heritability (H2)--- the proportion of prototypic variation in a population that is due to genetic variation  Behavioral variation resulting from genotypes is calculated by averaging the phenotypic values of one genotype across many different environments.  In order to know how the genotype affects the phenotype, we must partition all the genetic effects of each allele on a phenotype. These effects can be broken up into three factors:  Additive effects, A, or the average effect of individual alleles on the phenotype  Dominance effects, D, or the interaction between alleles at one locus  Epistasis, I, or the interaction between genes at different loci.  Dominance refers to the interaction of alleles at one locus in which one allele can mask the expression (phenotype) of the other.  Epistasis occurs when the effect of one gene is modified by another gene: one gene can mask the expression of another, or they can act together to produce a new phenotype.  Narrow-sense heritability can be determined by examining the similarity of behavior between closely related individuals, such as parents and their offspring.  The slope of the regression can range from zero to one; the higher the slope value, the more offspring resemble their parents.  Higher slope values indicate that a greater proportion of the phenotypic variance is additive variance, or variation passed from parents to offspring.  Lower slope values indicate that less of the phenotypic variance is additive genetic variance and so is not transmitted to offspring.  Recall that genes do not produce specific behaviors but rather code for a diverse array of molecules that affect brain function, through which behaviors are expressed.  Animals acquire sensory inputs about the environment: both abiotic aspects and biotic aspects, including the presence of others, such as conspecifics or predators  Genes and their products are expressed at different times depending on sensory inputs.  Social environment can refer to the presence, type, and number of nearby individuals, as well as interactions with these individuals.  Consider that behavioral interactions between two conspecifics often depend on the sex of the participants: in male-male interactions, aggressive behaviors may be displayed, while male-female interactions often involve courtship behaviors.  Close-ended learners must hear a tutor sing its conspecific song shortly after hatching.  A fixed critical period does not exist for open-ended learners, which can acquire new song elements throughout life.  Additional work revealed that song learning is affected by the type of tutor.  Spectrograms (or sonograms) are two-dimensional representations of sound that allow researchers to characterize the acoustic structure of vocalizations.  Spectrograms can reveal the number of song elements and their characteristic features (maximum frequency, maximum duration, and intervals between elements)  Gene-envronment interactions:  Both genes and the environment can have significant effects on the variation we see in behavioral phenotypes.  Often, when a single genotype is reared in different environments, we may observe different behavioral phenotypes, a reaction norm.  If the environment has a greater effect on one genotype than others, we say that here is a gene-environment interaction (GEI).  Recall that an individual’s behavior is the result of its genotype, the environment, and any interactions between them.  Genes can limit behavioral flexibility:  Genes also appear to limit behavioral variation.  Animals to display personalities—consistent differences in behavior over time or across different environmental contexts.  P. 76 marked area Chapter summary pp.77 References Nordell, S.E. & Valone, T.J. (2014). Animal Behavior: Concepts, Methods, and Applications. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199737598 Foerder. (2016). Lecture Notes.


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