Learned behaviour and examples

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      • Animals learn to ignore certain stimuli
        • This is because repeated exposure to the stimulus results in neither a reward nor punnishment
          • Birds learn to ignore scarecrows
            • It avoids wasting energy in making escape responses to non harmful stumuli
          • Lambs learn to ignore the road
            • It avoids wasting energy in making escape responses to non harmful stumuli
          • People that live near roads or rail are able to sleep at night
        • This involves young animals becoming associated with other organisms - usually the parent
          • Konrad Lorenz
            • Young goslings were shown to follow the first moving thing they see upon hatching
              • After they have imprinted, they only follow and learn from objects that look like the first object
          • Imprinting only occurs during a sensitive period - the receptive period
            • For goslings this is around 36 hours, less in chickens
              • It is significant in helping the young learn skills from the parent
        • Where  animals can learn to relate a pair of events and respond to the first in anticipation of the second
          • The first event is known as the conditioned stimulus which leads to a new reflex action called a conditioned response
            • Pavlov
              • When dogs are shown food they salivate - an unconditioned response
                • He rang a bell every time he fed the dogs, and soon the dogs salavated just upon hearing the bell - a conditioned response
        • Creating a specific behavioural reaction to a stimulus by adding an element of reward or punishment  (reinforcer)
          • B.F Skinner
            • In several experiments with rats and pigeons, using a Skinner box he showed that animals would press a lever because they had learned to associate the operation with food
              • A variety of rewards and  punishments  can be used
                • In nature this type of response is known as trial and error learning
      • LATENT (exploratory) LEARNING
        • Animals will explore new surroundings and retain information about the surroundings
          • This information may not be of immediate use but may be essential in staying alive at some future time
            • This can be seen in young rabbits, as they explore the surroundings of their burrows learning the environment
              • This knowledge could be life saving if tit helps the rabbit to escape a predator
        • Insight learning is based on the ability to think and reason in order to solve problems or deal with situations
          • The ability to do this is not based on simple fixed reflex responses or the need for repeated trial and error
            • Once solved the solution to the problem is remembered
            • Wolfgang Kohler
              • Chimpanzees were presented with bananas hung from the roof and a room full of boxes, eventually they stacked the boxes and retrieved the bananas
      • Learned  behaviour refers to animal responses that change or adapt with experience
        • There are a range of learned behaviours identified, from simply learning not to respond, to the ability to consider a problem and formulate the solution


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