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Midterm 2 Summarized SG

Midterm 2 Summarized SG - G ENERAL IDEAS Evolution Causes o...

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GENERAL IDEAS Evolution & Causes o An animal’s evolutionary fitness is determined by the amount of offspring it has (its ability to pass on traits). Unimportant if the animal dies, as long as it has had progeny before dying o Sources of natural selection: The circumstances or context in which an animal fails to survive o Causes Proximate causes are immediate & cumulative during development (repeated trials can be proximate) Ultimate causes operate in the evolutionary time frame, at the level where natural selection is operating Aristotelian Causes Efficient o Force o E.g., a cue hits a ball & the ball rolls Material o The state of the system as affecting its behavior o i.e., a fulcrum effect Final o The teleological cause o Purpose or goal for which the action or event occurs Formal o The organization of the system in time/space Brain Size o Does a larger brain mean a more intelligent animal? Efficiency also has to be kept in mind i.e. birds who have specialized, but small brains o Swen Ebbeson’s Parcellation theory Specialization/mutations in the pattern of connectivity of neurons, which may confer fitness on the animal Related behavior that promotes fitness will spread through the population o Microcephalics Humans that can have brains smaller than chimpanzees They can still do simple work and have speech abilities because the human brain has been trained by natural selection to have certain kinds of specialization Despite small brains & chimp-sized neurons, those individuals that exhibit rudimentary talk must have intact “human” interneural connections in speech areas of the brain A human not chimp pattern of interneural connectivity Sexual Dimorphism o Sex differences in the brain The sexes might have a need for differences in behavior (in processing sound, for example) Bennet & Sally Shawitz Found bilateral symmetry on functional MRIs in females and not in males, indicating sex differences in neural organization & possibly info processing Sandra Witelson Looked at various layers in M and F brains and counted the # of cells in the auditory association cortex o Neurons are grouped functionally in columns, and generally connect more to neighboring, but not immediately adjunct columns
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Women showed a 17% increase of neurons in layer 4 over males This difference might improve precision in hearing, sound differentiation, etc o Related dimorphisms in animal behavior Walter Cannon Flight/fight research and homeostasis Christina Williams Research w/ sex differences in rat behavior in a radial arm maze Females showed more errors on initial learning trials because they were choosing maze arms based on more complex (distant landmark-type and positional) information Both males & females learned the maze w/ the same low errors near the end of the trials Developmental differences in rats in utero (hormone surges @diff times during development having diff effects) i.e., a F rat fetus developing in between 2 or 3 M rat fetuses affected later behavior after birth
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Midterm 2 Summarized SG - G ENERAL IDEAS Evolution Causes o...

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