Learning and memory

Includes:

  • Species-characteristic behaviour
  • Individual-characteristic behaviour
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Species-characteristic behaviour

Also known as innate behaviour.

This is a large collection of responses which are usually seen in every member of a particular species.

  • It is a genetically determined response to a particular stimulus, and it occurs as specific nerve pathways are laid down in the embryo from the instructions of the DNA.
  • The stimulus for a piece of innate behaviour will always elicit the same response, which has been selected over generations for its survival value.
  • Nature is completely dominant in the development of these pathways in the brain.
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Individual-characteristic behaviour

  • This is an adaptive change in the behaviour of an individual which occurs as the result of experience.
  • Nurture is important in the way the brain develops and learning takes place in repsonse to the environment.
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Types of Individual-characteristic behaviour

  • Habituation
  • Conditioned reflexes
  • Trial-and-error (operant) learning
  • Imprinting
  • Exploratory (latent) learning
  • Insight learning
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