Learning and Behavior Chapter 1

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Natural Selection
The tendency for characteristics that contribute to the survival of a species to persist and for those that do not disappear.
A relationship between a specific event and a simple response to that event. It is not a particular kind of behavior such as an eye blink. A reflex is a RELATIONSHIP between certain kinds of events, usually in the immediate surroundings, and certain kinds of behavior.
The tendency to blink when a speck of dirt hits your eye is a reflex. The reflex is not the eye blink but the relation between the speck of dirt and the eye blink.
Repeatedly evoking a given reflex response with result in a reduction in the intensity or probability of the response.
Seth Sharpless and Herbert Jasper (1956) cat study: noted the effects of loud noises on cats by recording their brain waves on an electroencephalograph (EEG) and soed marked arousal at first but the reaction declined steadily with each repetition of a given sound.
An increase in the intensity or probability of a reflex response resulting from earlier exposure to a stimulus that elicits that response.
Modal Action Pattern (MAP)
A series of interrelated acts found in all or nearly all members of a species. Also called: fixed action pattern, species specific or species typical behavior
They resemble reflexes in that they have a strong genetic basis; display relatively little variability from individual to individual or from day to day in the same individual; and often are reliably elicited by a particular kind of event.
They differ from reflexes in that they involve the entire organism rather than a few muscles or glands; are more complex, often consisting of long series of reflex-like acts; and are more variable, though still rather stereotypic.
Fixed Action Pattern
Another name for modal action pattern (MAP)
A series of interrelated acts found in all or nearly all members of a species.
Also called: species specific behavior or species typical behavior
Or releasing stimulus; any stimulus that reliably elicits a fixed action pattern.
General Behavior Traits
Any general behavioral tendency that is strongly influenced by genes. Opposite of fixed action patter
Activity level, aggression, introversion, anxiety, hoarding, and sexual practices. Some are strongly influenced by genes.
Any stimulus the removal of which is reinforcing; characterizing an event that is likely to be avoided.
those things an individual strives to escape or avoid; described as painful, noxious, or unpleasant; often produces an aggressive behavior.
Limits of Natural Selection
It occurs slowly; it does nothing to help organisms in the present; limiting when it comes to abrupt environmental changes.
Charles Darwin Evolution
Holds that genetic adaption depends on variation and natural selection.
A relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience.
Survival mechanism that evolved through natural selection.
Does not necessarily involve acquisition.
Anything an organism does that can be measured.
What changes behavior is experience.
Any event that affects, or is capable of affecting, behavior.
Human love for salt and sugar
illustrates that behavior that has survival value at one time may be harmful at another time.
Any change in a gene. When the modified gene occurs in a reproductive cell, the mutation may be passed on to offspring.

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