Essential idea: Behavioural patterns can be inherited or learned.
Song birds, such as the Indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea), display both innate and learned behaviour in their songs: all young have the ability to sing, but those exposed to adult birds have more developed songs. Isolated populations of Indigo buntings also show regional variations in their songs.
Understandings, Applications and Skills
|A.4.U1||Innate behaviour is inherited from parents and so develops independently of the environment.|
|A.4.U2||Autonomic and involuntary responses are referred to as reflexes.|
|A.4.U3||Reflex arcs comprise the neurons that mediate reflexes.|
|A.4.U4||Reflex conditioning involves forming new associations.|
|A.4.U5||Learned behaviour develops as a result of experience.|
|A.4.U6||Imprinting is learning occurring at a particular life stage and is independent of the consequences of behaviour.|
|A.4.U7||Operant conditioning is a form of learning that consists of trial and error experiences.|
|A.4.U8||Learning is the acquisition of skill or knowledge.|
|A.4.U9||Memory is the process of encoding, storing and accessing information.|
|A.4.A1||Withdrawal reflex of the hand from a painful stimulus.|
|A.4.A2||Pavlov’s experiments into reflex conditioning in dogs.|
|A.4.A3||The role of inheritance and learning in the development of birdsong.|
|A.4.S1||Analysis of data from invertebrate behaviour experiments in terms of the effect on chances of survival and reproduction.|
|A.4.S2||Drawing and labelling a diagram of a reflex arc for a pain withdrawal reflex. [Drawing of reflex arc should include the receptor cell, sensory neuron, relay neuron, motor neuron and effector.]|
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Nature of science
Looking for patterns, trends and discrepancies - laboratory experiments and field investigations helped in the understanding of different types of behaviour and learning. (3.1)
Theory of knowledge
It is easy for us to guess how the behaviour of an animal might influence its chance of survival and reproduction. Is intuition a valid starting point for scientists?
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