100 terms



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Scala Naturae
-"Great Chain of Being"
- A hierarchical list of species in terms
of their "perfection."
- EX: lowest = air/soil, highest = humans then God
Charles Darwin
- Proposed the Theory of Evolution
- Studied isolation of genes on galapagos islands
Branching Evolution
- Descent from a Common Ancestor
- Ancestor -> (evolved) -> new species to match environment
- All lines (species) would come from single ancestor
- Explains fossil record, homologous types, recapitulation, vestigial structures and biogeography
Phylogenetic tree
- AKA: evolutionary tree or a tree of life
- Shows relatedness of species through evolution of common ancestor
Darwin's finches
- Found beak size is controlled by single gene
- One ancestor finch evolved into different species due to adaptation of environment
Fossil Record
- Species fall into logical order that follow the theory of evolution
Homologous types
- Same structure modified for different uses
- Features derived from common ancestors
- In development, we can see earlier species in this species'
- EX: humans have gill slits in embryonic state that disappear
Vestigial Structures
- Structures that we have that are no longer useful
- EX: Appendix in humans (lost much of ancestral function)
- Study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time
- Can usually be explained by historical factors such as: speciation, extinction, continental drift, and glaciation
Evolution of physical traits
- Explained by genetic variation & natural selection
- Genetic variations: usually bad, sometimes really good
Thomas Hobbes
- Emphasized the importance of reinforcement and punishment as determinants of behavior
- Voluntary behavior is governed by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain
- Forerunner of Malthus' ideas of "limited resources" and Charles Darwin's ideas of "survival of the fittest"
Evolution of psychological traits
- Behavior is a function of multiple levels of causation
George Romanes
- Naturalist
- Intelligence = "to make new adjustments, or to modify old ones, in accordance with the results of its own individual experience."
Clever Hans
- Horse that did math
- Shown one set of objects on one table, then asked to add, multiply, or divide by the revealed number of objects
- How he did it: unconscious postures and facial expressions.
Wilhelm von Osten
- Teacher
- Asked Hans math questions, Hans would answer correctly
Oskar Pfungst
- Studied Hans and Osten
- Found Hans relied on visual cues to answer
- Could only answer correctly when the questioner was within his visual field and if the questioner knew the correct answer already.
Experimental method
- Observation, Hypothesis, Experimentation, Verification, Explanation
- Filters out "bad science"
- Employed by Pfungst to discover the truth about Clever Hans
Comparative Perspective
- Species differences in motion sensitivity and acuity
- Researchers have to design paradigms for interpreting animal behavior that doesn't lead to the same outcome as the Clever Hans effect
Lloyd Morgan's Canon
- Canon: a rule/ body of rules/ principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field.
- Don't get carried away with what look like astonishing animal performances
- Experiment to find the simplest explanation of behavior
Occam's Razor
- "All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the best one."
Rule of Parsimony
- AKA Occam's Razor
- the simplest of several hypotheses is always the best in accounting for unexplained facts.
John B. Watson
- Founder of the "behaviorist" movement
B. F. Skinner
- Leader of the "behaviorist" movement
- Mental events cannot be characterized independently from overt physical behaviors.
- Resists attempts to define mental expressions such as "pain" in reference to introspective reports by the subject
Wolfgang Köhler
- Book titled "Mentality of Apes"
- Observed apes using "insight" to solve problems
- Argued that the brain and perception organize sensations according to several principles to yield good form
- Gestalt psychologist
Insight learning
- An insight that manifests itself suddenly, such as understanding how to solve a difficult problem
E. C. Tolman
- Behaviorist
-Latent learning: not immediately expressed in an overt response; it occurs without any obvious reinforcement of the behavior or associations that are learned
Cognitive Map
- The rats in Group 1 always found food at the end of the maze. Quickly learned map of maze.
- Group 2 never found food. Only wandered maze.
- Group 3 found no food for 10 days, but then received food on the eleventh. Day 11; learned to run to the end of the maze by next day
- This showed that the Group 3 rats had learned map of maze, but without the reinforcement of food
- Light-sensitive layer of tissue, lining the inner surface of the eye.
- The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina
- Black and white
-Nocturnal animals have more
- Shows presence of light
- Color vision
- Smaller range of wave length
- Need more light to activate cone
- Point of focus for human eye
- Mostly cones in human fovea
Blind Spot
- Result of the absence of rods and cones in the area of the retina where the optic nerve leaves the eye
Optic Nerve
- Transmits sensory information regarding brightness perception, red-green color perception, contrast (visual acuity), and visual fields
Diurnal Animals (Active during day)
- EX: Humans and pigeon
- Sharp vision at the expense of light
- Mostly cones in the fovea
Nocturnal Animals (active during night)
- EX: Mouse and owl
- Light sensitivity at the expense of sharp
vision (rely on other senses such as
- Mostly rods in the fovea
Arrhythmic Animals (equally active at day and night)
- EX: Dog
- Must have both sharp and light-sensitive vision
- Have both rods and cones in the fovea
Visual Pigments
- Four visual pigments in the human retina
- molecules embedded in the outer cell membrane of rods and cones
- Light activates the pigment which causes a change in the signal sent to the nervous system
Black/White Vision
- Lots of rhodopsin
- More light sensitivity, less sharpness
Color Vision
-Blue, green, and red pigments in three different types of cones.
- They differ in sensitivity to different wavelengths
of light.
- We don't see as well in red
- Pigment found in rods that is responsible for black/white vision
- Varies in sensitivity across species.
African cichlid fish
- Not all fish have the same 3 cones
- We can trace lineage of development of pigments
- Explains how changes have occurred over time
Lake Baikal - the "Galapagos of Russia"
- very isolated lake
- 60% of species are unique to this lake
Cottoid fish
- Coloration of fish provide cues during mating, camouflaging
- At bottom, coloration not important
- Water filters out higher wave lengths
- Attempts to measure sensitivity of perceptual systems to different dimensions of physical stimulation
- Determination of sensory limits
Gustav Fechner
- Originated Psychophysics around 1850
- German physicist
Absolute Threshold
- The point at which a stimulus intensity is detectable 50 percent of the time
- depends on visual system, age, vision
Titration Method
- Lower intensity until the stimulus is not detected, then raise it until it is, then lower it until it is not, then raise it again until it is
- The average of switches is the absolute threshold
Dark Adaptation Function
- First 10 minutes in the dark, the cones require less light to reach a threshold response than do the rods. Thereafter, the rods require less light.
- The point at which the rods become more sensitive after bright light is called the rod-cone break.
Donald Blough
- Pigeon Titration Method
- Trained pigeons to peck Key A when light was on and Key B when it was off on a partial reinforcement schedule.
- Psychophysical methods originally developed for humans can be adapted for use with animals.
Spectral Sensitivity
- Differential sensitivity to different wavelengths of light
- EX: Pigeons are more sensitive to ultraviolet and less
sensitive to red than we are
-Blough (1950) found animals have sensory systems that work much the same way that ours do.
Bottom-up Perception
- Physical characteristics of stimuli drive perception.
- Low-level information can be extracted from sensory
information using neural feature detectors
- Build-up the perception of the object from the combination of its features
Top Down Perception
- Knowledge, expectations, or thoughts influence perception.
- Start with the object in mind (or our previous experiences) and that influences our perception
- Matching previous experiences to present obstacles
- Perception is a dynamic searching for the best interpretation of the available data
- We perceive the world through sensation
Feature detectors
- Neurons that detect specific features
- Brightness
- Color
- Curvature
- Oriented lines/edges ! Line endings/junctions
- Movement
- Spatial frequency
Gestalt psychology
-Brain and perception organize sensations according to several principles to yield "good form"
- Top down
Holistic perspective
- Human perception is holistic: The world is made of objects against a background.
-we structure the world
- figure vs. ground
Good Continuation
- points in a line appear as part of a line
- enclosed structures appear to be objects
Anne Treisman
-Feature Integration Theory
Feature integration theory
- Objects are automatically analyzed into features, then are combined into perceptual objects during a focused attention stage
- Processing is different for visual features versus objects involving conjunctions of features.
Preattentive stages
- unconscious, automatic accumulation of features in a visual field
- "collecting parts"
Focused attention stages
- assembling the parts into a singular object
- combining the features
Conjunctions of Features
- Require us to process both shape and color simultaneously to identify the target region
Pop-out Effects
- The point is to quickly group similar shape/color elements together amongst a region of distractor elements
- Where the target display easily stands out from the surrounding distractor display
Robert Cook
- Pop Out Studies in Pigeons
- Reinforced for pecking the target letter "P", in this example, or a particular shape or color
- Search reaction time for targets surrounded by single- feature distractors is typically independent of the number of surrounding distracters
- The results fit with Treisman's theory that objects are first analyzed into features, then the features are later combined into coherent perceptual objects
- Showed that both pigeons and humans have similar response rates to arrays of pop out & conjunctions
Texture Discriminations
- Human visual system can group similar color/shape features into global spatial regions and then segregate them at their boundaries/edges in order to begin establishing figure-ground relations
Bat Echolocation
Sensitivity to Electrical Fields
Weakly Electric African Fish
Object Permanence
the concept that objects continue to exist even when they disappear from sight.
Concept Learning
- Herrnstein and Loveland (1964)
- Showed that pigeons can quickly learn to sort color slides showing similar natural scenes according to the "higher-order" concept "human being."
Exemplar Model of Categorization
- Intact stimuli are stored as examples in memory.
- Generalization - make same response to similar stimuli
- Classification or recognition is determined by the degree of similarity between a stimulus and the examples
Feature Learning Model
- categories based on whether objects share some set of features
- Cerella (1980) show that pigeons often fail to learn to discriminate rearranged objects composed of the same features
- pigeons will see Charlie Brown even if his head is where his feet should be
Prototype Model
- Categorization is the acquisition of a prototype (an average of exemplars)
- In humans, performance can be better on the prototype than on any learned exemplar
- taking new stimuli and comparing it to the average of examples
- Pigeons not good at this because they are feature learners
E. A. Wasserman
- Object perception in pigeons
- Simultaneous Same/Different discriminations
Object perception
- Visual display variability was the key controlling dimension in pigeons' discrimination of Same from Different displays
- measures the amount of variety or diversity in a category and accounts for pigeons choices.
stimulus equivalence
circadian rhythms
- free run ~25 hr
- still get hungry
- still have sleep cycle
- Synchronize animals' behavior and physiology with natural rhythms in the environment
- Give animals an internal sense of the passage of time on a long timescale
- entrained" by an external stimulus
- German for "time-giver
- taller the bar = more the moved during given time segment
- Charts of counts of locomotor activity over time
- Dark and light bars over the charts indicate dark and light phases of the light-dark cycle
Russell Church
- "peak procedure" for studying animal timing
peak procedure - discrete-trial fixed interval (FI) schedule
- FI set at 20 seconds = rats' peak response rate is just after 20 seconds has expired.
- tells you when animal expected food
Weber's Law
-the larger the stimuli, the harder to discriminate difference stimuli
-EX: 2 pennies vs. 99 pennies
- EX: volume
scalar timing theory
- Time is like other stimulus dimensions in that it obeys
Weber's Law
- more time, curve expands b/c animal cant tell the difference
- scaled in terms of perception
- when animals are timing, the sense it just like a sensory experience
Temporal Bisection and the Geometric Mean
- bisecting = averaging
-Example: 10 sec versus 50 sec
- webers law = 50 is closer than 10, 5 times
Gibbon & Church's (1984) information processing model of timing
- (1st) clock process: pacemaker-> switch -> accumulator
- (2nd) memory processing: working memory -> reference memory
- (3rd) decision process: comparator -> repsond or dont respond
-waiting for working memory to match with reference, when they do, respond
- rapid assessment of number from a small number of simultaneously presented items, usually one to four
- similar to how we recognize colors
numerical competence
- 1. Relative number judgment (relative "numerosity)
- 2. Absolute number judgment
- 3. Counting
Relative number judgment (relative "numerosity)
- animals can tell that 5 is more than 3 or 8 tones are more than 4 tones
- animal cognitively keeps track of each item in a set and assigns each one a code
absolute number judgment
- judgment about a single stimulus, e.g. about the value of one of its properties or about whether it is present or absent
-the number of elements in a set or other grouping, as a property of that grouping.
- EX: A (2,3,5,) = 3
Irene Pepperberg and Alex the African grey parrot
-Alex was trained daily, almost constantly, using the model-rival technique.
-Count up to 6 items.
- Count items in categories ("How many green blocks?").
- Count items in super-ordinate categories ("How many red and green blocks?").
model-rival technique
- Alex observed an instructor-student pair and spontaneously joins in the social interaction.