HideShow resource information

Innate Behaviour

A pattern of genetically determined behaviour that does not require learning or practice


  • passed on by reproduction
  • rigid and inflexible
  • the same in all individuals of a species
  • no sense of purpose to the behaviour


  • No learning
  • Immediate survival value
  • Useful to invertebrates with short life spans
  • requires very few neurones
  • appropriate to their environment
1 of 5


Escape Reflex:- A particular stimulus brings about an automatic response e.g.  Earthworms withdraw undergrrouund in response to vibrations

Kinesis:- A response to an external stimulus that is related to the intensity but not direction of the stimulus e.g. A woodlouse randomly seks out the dampest, darkest conditions

Taxis:- A directional movement in response to an external stimulus e.g. Positive phototaxis - moving towards a light source

2 of 5

Learned Behaviour

An adaptive change in response - behaviour based on experience


  • Determined by genetic make up and environmental influence
  • passed on by teaching
  • altered by experience
  • there is variation between individuals
  • form the basis of all intelligent activity


  • Adaptign to the changing environments
  • learning from more mature members of a species
3 of 5

Examples:- Habituation, Imprinting, Operant Condit

Habituation - an animal stops responding to a repeated stimulus to stop hte waste of energy by responsing to non-harmful stimuli e.g. Birds stop reacting to scarecrows after repeat exposure

Imprinting - learning to recognise a parent or other complex stimulus, often at an early age during the receptive period. It is important for youung to learn skills this way e.g. Birds learning to fly

Operant Conditioning - adaptive learning where an animal learns to carry out a task in order to recieve and reward of avoid an unpleasant experience

Classical Conditioning - adaptive learning where an innate response is modified, the conditioned stimulus leads to a new reflex - the conditioned response. E.g. Animals learn to relate a pair of events such as a bell ringing before food is given and respond to the first in anticipation of the second - It is passive and involuntary

4 of 5

Examples - Insight Learning and Latent (Explorator

Latent Learning - behaviour that is not directed towards a particular outcome. Animals explore new surrouundings and retain information about their surroundings. e.g. A rabbit exploring its burrow -knowledge that can then be life saving if it helps the rabbit to escape a predator

Insight Learning - Where an animal integrates memories of two or more earlier actions to produce a new response to gain a reward. It is the highest form of learning. e.g. Chimpanzees were able to stack boxes on top of each other to reach bananas

5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Human, animal and plant behaviour resources »