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Ch. 3 Habituation


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Scientists who study how animals behave in natural environments (as opposed to psychologists who study in labs)
control systems theory
Branch of science - studies goal-directed behavior in living AND inanimate
Something that compares reference input* (goal state) to actual input* (current situation) and triggers an output (action) if the two do not match. Part of control systems theory
reference input
The idea (or goal state) which the actual input is compared to. When the actual input is not the same as this, the comparator prompts some action.
actual input
Some actual physical characteristic of the environment which is measured and compared to the reference input.
action system
The system that actually creates the change in behavior (it is controlled by the comparator)
the product of the action system
Feedback system or closed-loop system
Name for goal-directed systems where the output affects (or feeds back on) the actual input.
A factor other than the output which affects the actual input.
6 terms of control systems theory
comparator, reference input, actual input, action system, output, and disturbance
A stereotyped pattern of movement (of a part of the body) which can be reliably made to happen by presenting the right stimulus
Small neurons that separate the sensory and motor neurons in the spinal cord
Spinal reflex arc
Name of the path of the flexion reflex (rapid withdrawal of hand caused by bending the elbow). Path is: Pain sensory neurons in hand have axons that reach the spinal cord; they connect to interneurons which connect to the motor neurons (whose cell body is in spinal cord), motor neuron axons extend to & connect with muscle fibers, causing them to contract producing the reflex.
A movement or change in orientation of an entire animal in response to a specific stimulus. Innate reaction like with a reflex (but moving whole body instead of part as w/reflex) 2 Types - Kinesis & Taxis
Type of tropism where direction of movement is random in relation to the stimulus. (plural: kineses)
Type of tropism where direction of movement relates to the location of stimulus
fixed action pattern
Innate sequence of behaviors triggered by a specific stimulus. Once started, it keeps going until the end even if behaviors are not appropriate for the situation. (1) All members of a species have it; (2) proven innate w/experiments; (3) rigid order (as described above)
sign stimulus
a fairly specific stimulus that initiates a fixed action pattern
reaction chains
A sequence of behaviors that depends on the presence of external stimuli. (Unlike fixed action patterns, w/out the stimulus the reaction chain will stop. It won't continue if the behaviors don't fit the context.)
human universals
Abilities & behaviors found in all known cultures (compiled by Donald Brown)
A decrease in strength of response to a stimulus after that stimulus has been repeatedly presented.
orienting response
Innate response to sudden/unexpected (novel) stimuli where the animal/person stops what their doing to look at/listen to the stimulus.
6 principles of habituation
1.) Course, 2.) Effects of time, 3.) relearning effects, 4.) effects of stimulus intensity, 5.) effects of over-learning [below-zero habituation], 6.) stimulus generalization
The transfer of habituation from one stimulus to similar, new stimuli.
simple systems approach
The strategy - in physiological research (of learning processes like habituation) - of studying primitive creatures because they have smaller, less complex nervous systems.
The ability of the nervous system to change as a result of experience/stimulation.
opponent-process theory
Theory by Solomon & Corbit that states many emotional responses include an initial emotional reaction followed by an after-reaction of the opposite emotion

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