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2011 psyc2011 2 psychobiology

2011 psyc2011 2 psychobiology - • • • • Behavioural...

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Unformatted text preview: • • • • Behavioural ecology • All animals face certain problems – Finding food, water, shelter, avoiding predators, finding mates. • Behavioural ecology is the study of how an animal’s behaviour advances its chances of survival and increases reproductive success. • Major emphasis is placed on the genetic basis of behaviour, and the distribution of ‘genes for that behaviour’ within a population. Evolutionary fitness • The survival of the fittest (Darwin): 1. There are limited resources & there is competition for these resources, 2. Individuals who are best suited to their environment will tend to survive, 3. They will pass on their characteristics to their offspring (via genes). Genetic polymorphisms • A gene can take multiple forms (alleles) that produce different versions of the same protein, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome Genetic polymorphisms • A gene can take multiple forms (alleles) that produce different versions of the same protein, • Within a population, the mixture of alleles can change over time via natural selection: – Alleles that confer a reproductive advantage (increase ‘fitness’) will be represented in future generations more than alleles that do not. Eg, spread of drug resistance • • – – – AD AR XR XD Y http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bookres.fcgi/hmg/ch3f2.gif Jelliffe SE, Muncey EB, Davenport CB (1913) http://www.about-dementia.com/articles/images/HuntingtonsPedigree.gif Davenport, 1919 http://www.accd.edu/sac/honors/main/papers02/Judge.8.jpg Tolman, 1924 Tryon, 1940 Tryon, 1940 Tryon, 1940 http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/mar2007/francis_galton.jpg • – http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/mar2007/anthropometry_exhibit.jpg http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/mar2007/nazi_poster.jpg http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/mar2007/nazi_poster2.jpg http://blog.lib.umn.edu/perry032/impossible/eugenics.jpg http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/mar2007/kallikaks_chart1.gif • • • The problem of altruism Exchange between animals Reciprocal altruism • • • Acts can appear altruistic in the short-term, But if it is reciprocated later, both donor & recipient benefit in the long term. Conditions of reciprocal altruism: – – – – Must have a reasonable chance of receiving reciprocation, Must be able to delay immediate gratification, There is a low cost to donor & high benefit to recipient, Must be able to remember and punish cheaters • • – • • – Wason selection task Looking for cheaters • Do people have inference procedures specialised for detecting cheaters? – “If you take a benefit, you must pay the cost.” • People were asked to analyse the Wason Selection task in two different contexts: – Describing the rules of a social contract, – Being asked to detect cheating. • People are much more likely to solve the WST if it is presented as a test to detect cheating. • Evidence for a specific social information processing faculty? Social theory of intellect • The demands of the social context drives the evolution of general problem-solving abilities (e.g., Tooby & Cosmides, 1992) – Remembering interpersonal interactions – Transitive inference in heirarchical power relationships – Planning Readings • – • – • – Readings • The social theory of intellect: – Shettleworth (pp. 511-521; in reserve section) • An interesting paper compares the development of reciprocal altruism in humans and non-humans: – Stevens JR & Hauser MD (2004) Trends in Cognitive Science 8(2): 60-65 ...
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