by devin

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What are the classical ways of studying animal behavior?
1. Psychology: Study of the human mind.  "How" Questions
2. Ethology (Biological study of behavior.  Both "How" and "Why" Questions.  e.g. Why did this behavior evolve?
What are the more modern approaches to studying animal behavior?
1. Behavioral Ecology: Relates ecology and behavior
2. Sociobiology: Relates evolution to social behavior.
What are some methods & approaches for studying animal behavior?
Neurobiology, Anthropology, Conservation, Robotics/AI, Animation.
What did Carl Von Frisch contribute to AB?
He deciphered the language of honeybees.
What did Conrad Lorentz contribute to AB?
He is known for his work on imprinting in geese.
What did Niko Tinbergen contribute to AB?
Tinbergen was known for his work with herring gulls.
Tinbergen's first two questions
Proximate Questions:
1. How does it work? Which stimuli illicit behavior.  The physiological/neural basis of the behavior.
2. How did it develop?  How did this behavior arise during the lifetime of the organism?  How does the development process work?
Tinbergen's last two questions
Ultimate Questions:
3. Why does the behavior exist? (current function).  Why does behaving in a particular way help the individual to survive/reproduce in its physical and social world?
4. Why did the behavior evolve?  (evolution/ phylogeny).  What factors were involved in molding this behavior?
What is a fixed action pattern (FAP)?

A fixed action pattern(FAP) is a motor response that is
initiated by some environmental stimulus but that can
continue to completion without the influence of exter-
nal stimuli.
What is a sign stimulus?  What is a releaser?
A sign stimulus is a stimulus in the environment that triggers a fixed action pattern.  A releaser is a sign stimulus made by a conspecific.
What is a chain of reactions?
A series of sequential FAP's that are chained together to create a more complex behavior
What is an innate releasing mechanism?
Fixed action patterns are invariant and are produced by a neural network known as the innate releasing mechanism in response to an external sensory stimulus known as a sign stimulus or releaser (a signal from one individual to another).
In male sticklebacks, what is the sign stimulus?  What is the fixed action pattern (FAP)?
The sign stimulus is the red belly of another male.  Attacking that male is the FAP.   This is also true for the blue belly of the female/the zig-zag dance is the FAP.
What is imprinting?
Imprinting is a form of learning in which individuals exposed to key stimuli during a sensitive (critical) developmental period
form an association with that stimulus.  This association has important consequences later in life.
What is a critical period?
A brief, well-defined developmental period when an organism becomes impressionable to environmental stimuli.  e.g. ducklings, if exposed in the first ~30 hours, can imprint on colored blocks.
What sensory modalities are involved in imprinting?
Imprinting can involve auditory, visual, olfactory cues (e.g. chicks raised by puppets look for plastic mates).
What do salmon imprint?  At what stage in their lifecycle?
Salmon imprint the scent of the river in which they spawn.  The salmon are believed to imprint the scent of their home river during a critical period in the smolt stage.  (Lifecycle is Fry -> Parr -> Smolt -> Adult)
How was the UW fish-imprinting study run?  What were the results?
Using fish raised mostly on Seward Park water, but exposed to UW water at different periods of their life (fry, smolt, parr, adult, control), radio transmitters or something were used to figure out to which water they returned (UW or Seward park).  The conclusion was that those exposed at fry/smolt were the ones that returned to UW (i.e. it supported Hasler and Wisby's assumptions).  Though this may only be the case for hatchery-reared fish (they are hormonally and physiologically different than wild fish).
What is the mystery of the european eels?
They spawn in the Sargasso sea, but emerge from the larval stage and swim upstream as tiny eels.  No one knows how they know which streams, etc to go to.
What are the categories of learning?
1. Habituation
2. Sensitization
3. Classical Conditioning
4. Operant Conditioning
What is habituation?  What is an example?
Basically, "you get used to it" -- a decreased behavioral response to a stimulus after repeated exposure to that stimulus. Sort of like sensory adaptation.  One example is that anemone's will stop closing up after a poke if you repeatedly poke them.
What is sensitization?  What is an example?
When the response to a stimulus cannot be habituated.  One example would be a fire alarm -- you can't really get used to it.
What is classical conditioning?
Repeatedly pair any stimulus with a stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response (i.e. pair the sound of a bell with the smell of steak).  You must use the conditioned stimulus before the unconditioned stimulus!  After a while, you see a conditioned response -- dog salivates in resonse to the bell.
How long does acquisition of a conditioned response take?  Extinction of the response?
Acquisition usually takes a while, but extinction is pretty rapid.
What is an example of a classical conditioning experiment to determine if a lizard can hear a 1Khz tone?
Condition the lizard to pair a 1Khz tone with a small electric shock to the tail --> quantify the unconditioned response of the lizard using heart rate (HR goes up when shocked).  After repeatedly pairing the tone with the shock, test if the HR goes up if you just play the tone.
Whats an example of the Stomphia anenome getting conditioned in the wild?
Stomphia's will be attacked by starfish -- the unconditioned response is to flee when they detect both a starfish chemical and the touch of the starfish.  The conditioned response (if starfish keep attacking) is to flee from a touch alone.
What is operant conditioning?
The modification of "voluntary behavior" through the use of consequences -- either good or bad.  e.g. use a skinner box to teach a pigeon to spin 3 times (reward with food).
Describe the operant conditioning experiment involving pigeons recognizing faces.  What are the controls?
Present a pigeon with a variety of faces, and reward it when it pecks at the right face (e.g. Hillary Clinton).  After the bird has learned which one to peck at, present the bird with new pictures, one of which is still Hillary Clinton.  As a control, present a different conditioned bird with 4 photographs, none of which are Clinton.   If the pigeon recognizes the face, it will peck it more than control pigeons will.
What does a negative result mean in operant conditioning?
Doesn't prove that the animal can't perform the task, just shows that the way you tried to teach them didn't work.
What is social learning in parrots?
Provide a model for the parrot to learn from (i.e.  by demonstrating correct behavior with another individual in front of the parrot).
How did operant conditioning play a role in birds learning to drink the cream from the top of milk bottles?
Birds learned to associate pecking the tin foil with a cream reward.
What is a facilitory interneuron?
A neuron that fires on the axon of another neuron, altering how much NT that neuron releases (i.e. it can cause it to dump a lot more NT out due to an action potential).
What is crop-raiding?
Elephant herds raid crops -> leads to big crop losses, plus people and elephants are killed.
What is anti-predator behavior?  What is it in elephants?
Anti-predator behavior is a prey response to predators.  In elephants, tigers/leopards and humans are the predators.
What solutions are being tried to evoke anti-predator behavior in elephants?
Play tiger and leopard growls, play humans yelling as they do at elephants, and play control sounds (owls and stuff).
What kind of learning is the elephant experiment reliant on?
Operant conditioning: elephants have already learned to associate certain sounds with negative consequences.
What was Simon LeVay's hypothesis?  What was his experiment?
Hypothesis: There will be size differences iof the nuclei in the anterior hypothalamus that correlate to sexual orientation.  He postulated this because there were known size differences between men and women.   His experiment was to measure the size of nuclei in deceased people's brains.
What are the organizational effects of hormones?
The presence or absence of certain hormones during early development can cause the brain to develop in a certain way -- exposure predisposes the brain to certain behaviors, and to respond to hormones later in life.
What are the activational effects of hormones?
Once development is complete, hormones can cause some behaviors to appear.
How do hormones effect male/female behavior in the Norway rat?
Testosterone in Norway rats inhibits femaleness and induces maleness.  Testes Development Factor is located on the Y chromosome --> causes testosterone to be produced in males --> results in male behaviors.  If you castrate newborn males, they exhibit female behavior, unless you begin to inject testosterone artificially, in which case they act as males.  If you give females testosterone, they also exhibit male behavior (mounting, etc.).
Suggest some mechanisms that might explain Simon LeVay's findings
1. A genetic basis for homosexuality
2. The organizational effects of hormones might alter the brain and result in homosexuality.
What other model organism backed up Simon LeVay's findings?
In cichlid fishes, large GnRH -ir neurons are found in the brain of territorial males.  When males lose territory, these neurons shrink and, conversely, when they gain territory, they grow larger.
How does fetus position affect the behavior of rats?
The position in the fetus relative to other members of the litter affects how much testosterone an individual is exposed to.  So, a male with two male neighbors will be more aggressive than one with two female neighbors.
Whats an example of the activational effects of hormones being environmental?
In Garter snakes, males emerge first out of the den and wait for females to mate.  Their testosterone isn't produced until 5-6 weeks later, and only then do they grow testes and produce sperm, which they store for the next time they get to mate.  In this case, the activation trigger is temperature, and the initiation of sexual behavior is based on temperature, not sex hormones.    THINK ABOUT WHY THIS MIGHT BE ADAPTIVE!
How do male and female zebra finches differ (physiologically and behaviorally)?
Males are XX, females are XY -- males produce estrogen to develop male characteristics, including the development of the part of the brain that leads to song.  Males also release testosterone which is what triggers singing.  Males sing a territorial song, whereas females do not.
What happens if you artificially supply a female zebra finch with testosterone and estrogen?
The female will sing, but only if you give her hormones during a critical period early in development. 
What are the organizational and activational aspects of zebra finch hormones?
Organizational: Estrogen.   Causes the development of song part of the brain and masculinizes brain in other ways. 
Activational: Testosterone --> activates singing behavior.
Describe Peter Marler's experiments on white crowned sparrows
Peter Marler noticed different "dialects" of WCS songs around the bay area, so he wanted to test the hypothesis that birds learn their song fromm their parents.  He took wild WCS eggs and raised them in the lab -- he put them in isolation boxes and played them different songs.  He played the control group the WCS song, and he didn't play any songs for the experimental group.  He found that the experimental group sang weird songs (not normal WCS songs).   Birds exposed to WCS songs from a different area would sing those songs (so a Marin bird could learn a Berkeley song).
What are the 3 song types in WCS?
Subsong: Highly variable, rambling sounds.  No adult-like syllables.
Plastic Song: More refined, some adult syllables.
Crystallized song: Adult song.
When is the critical period for white crowned sparrows to learn a normal song?
Young males must learn the song in days 10-50 of development.
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