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NPB102 MT1 Lectures

NPB102 MT1 Lectures - Tinbergens 4 questions Hypothesis...

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Tinbergens 4 questions & Hypothesis testing 1. Approaches to studying animal behavior a. Classically we had i. Psychology: study of the human mind 1. Focuses on “how” questions (proximate causation) 2. Ex. How do humans learn ii. Ethology: biological study of behavior 1. Focuses on how & why (ultimate/mechanistic thinking) 2. Ex. Why did this behavior evolve to be this way b. Newer fields i. Behavior ecology relates ecology & behavior ii. Sociobiology relates evolution to social behaviors c. Behavioral methods and approaches are commonly use in a variety of fields i. Anthro, neurobio, behavioral genetics, psych, conservation, robotics & AI, Imagineering/ animation 2. The 4 Questions : Niko Tinbergen a. Proximate questions i. How does it work ? (proximate causation or control) 1. Which stimuli illicit the behavior pattern and what neurobiological, psychological or physiological mechanisms contribute or regulate this behavior? ii. How did it develop ? (development or ontogeny) 1. How did the behavior arise during the lifetime of the individual? 2. How does the development process work? 3. How does the environment influence the development of this behavior? b. Ultimate Questions i. Why does the behavior exist ? (current fx) 1. Why does behaving in a particular way help the individual to survive and reproduce in its physical and social world? ii. Why did the behavior evolve ? (evolution or phylogeny) 1. Why did the behavior evolve over the evolutionary hx of the animal? 2. What factors might have been involved in molding this behavior over the course of evolution? 3. Applying Tinbergen’s 4 questions a. Observation: Car stops at a red light i. Pushing the brakes causes the car to stop 1. Test by having 2 cars disabling brakes in one car 2. OR red light stimulates the driver to stop the car a. Test by having a red light or blue light ii. Behavior develops by learning iii. Stopping at the light increases the chances of the individuals survival 1. Test in statistical manner by looking at historical records iv. Evolutionary: red evolved as a signal of danger (ie fire), traffic signals & what happens before & after they were present 1. Test the first by looking at different cultures to see if red used 4. Hermit crab with an anemone on its shell a. Why did this happen? i. Anemone adheres to the crab shell before the crab gets into the shell 1. Test it by having a crab with a shell & a shell alone to see which anemone chooses ii. Physical contact of claw (mechano), a chemical cue, or auditory cue, causes the anemone to release b. Developmentally?
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i. Get a crab that has never been exposed to anemone & expose it to one to see if behavior observed ii. Present shapes to crab to see if it triggers the behavior iii. Remove anemone c. Current fx – why does it exist? i. Protection from octopus 1. Measure by limiting number of anemones available to crab 2. Time spent on shell vs number of anemones on shell Approaches to studying animal behavior Niko Tinbergen’s 4 questions Important aside: Today’s researchers typically must integrate their work among more than one “level of analysis”. Proximate questions and approaches inform “ultimate” hypotheses and vice
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