Types of learning in animals

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  • Ethology - learning
    • Imprinting
      • Young animals copying their parents
      • Lorenz
        • Young ducklings followed him around as he was the first being they saw
          • They perhaps 'thought' he was their mother
      • Examples
        • Ducklings following their mother to learn to walk and swim
    • Classical conditioning
      • Animal learns without trying
      • Pavlov
        • Russian scientist (1849 - 1936)
        • Noticed that dogs salivate when shown food
          • Rang a bell when he gave his dogs food
            • Dogs salivated whenever they heard the bell - even if there was no food
      • Examples
        • Sound of a leash assosiated with going on a walk
      • Innate response to a learned stimulus
    • Habituation
      • Simplest type of learning
      • Stopping responding to a stimulus which has no effect
      • Examples
        • Cat not responding to the bell on its' collar
        • Sheep who live near a busy road not being scared by the noise of cars
    • Operant conditioning
      • Animal learns to do something by being rewarded or punished
      • Training
      • Examples
        • Assistance dogs
        • Animal tricks
        • Working animals
          • Sniffer dogs
          • Police horses
          • Sheep dogs


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