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Jan29n31anbhPOST - I Development as Gene-Environment...

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I. Development as Gene-Environment Interaction A. Example—Dogs 1. History of Dogs, and Artificial Selection 2. Dealing with Problem Behaviors B. Example—Bird Song 1. Role of learning from a tutor, practice 2. Brain regions involved 3. Gene activity during learning, practicing II. HOW Genes Influence Behavior
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Main cause(s) of problem behaviors in dogs? According to Nicholas Dodman (Director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts), there are 3 kinds of problems. normal species behaviors that’s just inconvenient for us in the wrong setting exaggerated versions of normal behaviors that have been made worse by irresponsible breeding improper behavior that arises because we don’t think about or understand how to react (e.g. dog growls and snaps at someone… owner pets the dog and speaks soothingly… dog interprets this as praise
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BRIEF HISTORY Of Dogs East Asia---about 15,000 years ago, wolves bred and domesticated In Israel---12,000 year old fossil of man w/ hand resting on a dog Saluki bred from desert wolf (sleek, fast), around 7000 B.C.; helps hunt game like rabbits
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VIDEO CLIP : Big Changes in the Victorian Era Highlights: In China, the Pekinese were being bred & perfected, to resemble lions 1860—British raid. 5 Pekinese brought back to England. Queen Victoria now has one and starts a trend Beginning of ‘lap dogs.’ Britains with more wealth and leisure due to the Ind. Revol. now want dogs purely for hobby Marks a change in emphasis in dogs—jobs not important, looks are Now 400 distinct breeds, by far the most diverse mammal on earth.
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Diversity great, but: Not all of the 400 purebreds have good genetic diversity Demand for looks, and new & different, can lead to breeds w/ some physical or behavioral peculiarities
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Causes of dog behavioral problems—combination of breed propensities (genetics) and a household (environment) that does not deal with those propensities Cesar Milan, “The Dog Whisperer,” eliminates bad dog behavior mostly by changing the owner’s reaction to it: What is his approach? Trying to get into the natural history of the dog – act as the pack leader instead of allowing the dog to think of itself as the leader Exercise Discipline Affection
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Cesar Milan, “The Dog Whisperer,” eliminates bad dog behavior mostly by changing the owner’s reaction to it: Underlying philosophy: Dogs are pack animals; person needs to be pack leader Approach: 3 step process…. 1. Exercise – often starts with a walk on a leash 2. Discipline – focus on state of mind; want ‘calm submissive state,’ do not tolerate lapses from it 3. Affection – comes last, and only when dog is calm Milan is calm, and gets what he wants. His tecnhnique has been criticized, though. Focuses on calm state of mind in both owner and dog.
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SONG LEARNING IN BIRDS In songbirds (finches, sparrows, canaries, etc.), males sing very elaborate, specific songs. The songs must be learned, and practiced.
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