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Habituation and Innate Behaviour Patterns. Psychology 3306. Innate behaviour. Why talk about this in learning? Well, learning often involves innate behaviour Many of the rules are similar Gives some perspective, i.e., not all behaviour is learned. Thermoregulation. Set Point.

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innate behaviour
Innate behaviour
  • Why talk about this in learning?
  • Well, learning often involves innate behaviour
  • Many of the rules are similar
  • Gives some perspective, i.e., not all behaviour is learned




Controlled Variable









Feedback mechanisms can be + or – or both

  • Stereotypic in response to a stimulus
  • Sensory -> inter -> motor neurons
  • Some quite complex behaviour can come of such simple connections and in relatively simple animals
in a moth s ear
In a Moth’s Ear….
  • Moth Ear basically has two neurons A1 and A2
  • They are not frequency sensitive, but do not respond to low frequencies
do moths have ear wax
Do Moths Have Ear Wax?
  • A1 is responsive to intensity
  • More firing with closer bat
  • A2 only fires with very loud sounds
  • A2 fires, bat must be very close
moths and bats charts and graphs
Moths and Bats, Charts and Graphs
  • A1 on the left fires, that wing beats faster
  • Moth’s course corrects to 180 degrees from bat
  • So very and totally cool
  • A2, go crazy
  • 2 neuron ear can encode where a predator in in 3 dimensional space!!!
  • Its not just me that thinks this is way cool
behavioural sequences
Behavioural Sequences
  • Fixed action patterns
  • Everyone does it
  • Not prior learning
  • Rigid sequence
  • Dust bathing in Burmese Red Junglefowl
    • Ancestor of our KFC
  • Function of the behaviour is to clean out oil from the feathers and to get rid of parasites.
  • Some birds bathe in water, others in dust
  • This is actually pretty complex beahaviour
  • Vestergaard, Hogan and Krujt (1990) found that junglefowl don’t need dust!
  • Hogan and Van Boxel (1993) found that dustbathing was already rhythmic at 14 days post hatch
etholodgy is cool
Etholodgy is cool
  • Reaction chains are sequences of FAPs
  • You can tell it is a reaction chain and not an FAP if the animal can stop the behaviour
  • We have reduced all of ethology down to a few power point slides…….
  • Decrease in the strength of a response after repeated presentation of a discreet stimulus
  • Getting used to it, sort of
  • NOT sensory adaptation or simply fatigue
  • Stimulus specific
  • Orienting response
  • Startle response
the rules
The rules
  • Thompson and Spencer (1966)
  • Gradual with time
  • Withhold stimulus and response will reoccur
  • Savings
  • Intensity
  • Overlearning
  • Stimulus generalization
pokin aplysisa
Pokin’ aplysisa
  • Kendel et al
  • Gill withdrawal
  • Seonsory -> motor pretty much
  • Less transmitter released into synapses!
  • Decrease in Ca current
  • Similar results in cats
  • Because of its generality, habituation is often thought of as the universal learning paradigm