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Chapter 2: Elicited behavior, Habituation, and sensitization

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1 Chapter 2: Elicited behavior, Habituation, and sensitization
behavior is a reaction to a stimulus in the environment. Food  salivation Bright light pupil dilation.

2 The simplest form of elicited behavior is the reflex.
Components of a Reflex Arc All reflex arcs have five essential components 1. receptor reacts to a stimulus. 2. The sensory (afferent) neuron conducts message to CNS 3. The integration center consists of one or more synapses in the CNS. 4. The motor (efferent) neuron conducts from CNS to an effector. 5. The effector, muscle fibers or glands, contracts or secretes.


4 The reflex arc just described = simplest situation.
Often other neural connections are involved. Notice that the Reflex arc does not require any willful conscious act  Thus - elicited

5 Animals with reflexive tendencies had an advantage
Reflexes appear to have evolved to protect the well being of the organism. withdrawal from pain eyeblink pupillary reflex Sneeze, cough, vomit patellar reflex rooting reflex. salivation release of digestive fluids. Animals with reflexive tendencies had an advantage

6 Ethology and Modal Action Patterns
Ethologists study the role of behavior within the context of species-specific behaviors. This is in contrast to the general processes approach used by most psychologists Ethologists behavior is generally instinctive. often study animals in the wild rather than the laboratory

7 Consummatory behaviors
behaviors that are crucial for survival. feeding, courting, reproducing, and care for offspring. innate, genetically determined survival behaviors. For Example Imprinting. Konrad Lorenz  Why do geese imprint, but other birds/animals (robins) do not? Precocial vs Altricial?

8 1. The object must be moving
Ethologists try to find the variables that are responsible for eliciting the behavior. imprinting = two important factors. 1. The object must be moving doesn’t matter if it is living or not ultra lights 2. The imprinting must occur within a critical period (13-16 hours after hatching). Critical Period for learning some things for humans? language

9 Modal Action Patterns. (MAP’s) MAPs vs Reflexes
modern Ethology abandoned the term instinct MAPs vs Reflexes MAPs are more complex consist of a long series of reflex-like acts more variable, though still stereotypic less likely to be evident at or soon after birth.

10 In addition, to qualify as a MAP, a behavioral sequence must meet four specific criteria according to Moltz (1963) 1. Stereotyped occurs the same way each time 2. continue to completion once begun difficult to disrupt 3. latent period once completed, some time must pass before behavior appears again 4. innate the animal must perform the full integrated behavioral sequence the first time its elicited

11 Like Reflexes MAPs are highly adaptive Protection from predators
Cat – arch back, fluff hair, hiss Protection against the elements Migration hibernation getting food Pigs rooting spider webs courtship and mating Big Horn Sheep Ducks care for young Birds Nests Gathering food Wasps that capture spiders

12 Modal Action Patterns are released by a sign stimulus
a specific environmental event that triggers an MAP Female pheromones often trigger mating behavior in males The sign stimulus works like a key to unlock an innate releasing mechanism innate releasing mechanism a neural mechanism that is stimulated by a sign stimulus. controls the modal action pattern

13 Examples Geese with Eggs Birds feeding young Herring gull studies
Rolling away? What if it slips on way back? stereotyped Larger eggs? Supernormal stimuli Birds feeding young Cowbirds Herring gull studies Which beak works best?








21 Do humans exhibit Modal Action Patterns?
sleep? Stereotyped? continue to completion once begun? latent period? Innate? emotions? sex?

22 Effects of Repeated Stimulation
Descartes thought that a reflexive response would occur the same way each time it was elicited However – elicited behavior are not invariant Habituation. repeated exposure to a stimulus reduces responding to that stimulus.

23 Habituation is a very simple form of learning
Very useful tool for understanding animal and infant behavior. Can you distinguish between “ba” and “pa” Infants? Used suck rate as response Pacifier with an embedded switch

24 As simple as habituation is, it can be used to tell us a lot about a nonverbal organism
Other race effect Caucasian infants (3.5 months old) Group 1 (Caucasian faces) shown a Caucasian face until habituated Group2 (Asian faces) Shown an Asian face until habituated Test Both groups shown novel faces New Caucasian face for group 1 New Asian face for group 2

25 Other-race effect in Caucasian infants

26 Repetitive stimulation does not always cause habituation.
HOWEVER, Repetitive stimulation does not always cause habituation. sometimes you get sensitization. My father and motorcycle emotional response flee do not habituate likely to be more responsive to other stimuli. tap on the shoulder drop a wrench.  My dog and car AC

27 Davis (1974) sensitization and habituation to the same stimulus. 110 db noise = loud. Gp1 = rats housed in a quiet chamber = 60 db Gp 2 = rats housed in a loud chamber = 80 db One of the groups decreased their startle response to the 110 db noise after repeated presentations. The other group increased their startle response to the 110 db noise after repeated presentations. Which group is which? What phenomenon does each group demonstrate?

28 What determines whether we get habituation or sensitization?
Dual process theory Two simultaneous processes S-R system Reflex arc State system Involves additional parts of the nervous system that regulate levels of arousal

29 The S-R system and State system are additive – but in opposite directions
The more active system will determine whether habituation or sensitization is displayed Example Checkerboard study in book. Infants shown checkerboards 4 x 4 12 x 12


31 Habituation versus Sensory Adaptation and Response Fatigue
Bright light – blinded Loud noise – can’t hear Response Fatigue Too tired to move

32 Figure 2. 13 – Diagram of a simple reflex
Figure 2.13 – Diagram of a simple reflex. Sensory adaptation occurs in the sense organs, and response fatigue occurs in effector muscles. In contrast, habituation and sensitization occur in the nervous system.

33 Characteristics of Habituation Habituation is response specific
Some parts of responding may habituate – but others continue to operate. Announcement while taking a test Look up orienting response quickly habituates You will likely still be listening however = other response Listening not habituated Habituation is stimulus specific Stop responding to one thing, but if there is a change in the stimulus the habituation goes away. Dishabituation

34 Time course for habituation
Short-term = seconds to minutes Long-term = may persist for many days Leaton (1976) Startle response in rats to loud high pitched tone


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