Transcript Document

Learning behaviour 2
• What do animals learn?
Learning about the location of home
(or the birth place)
• Atlantic salmon return
to their native river (they
memorise olfactory cues
of the stream in which they
were born)
Learning about the path
to the food source
“Progress has been made by Chittka & Geiger, who in heroic experiments,
erected 3.46m high artificial landmarks...“
Collett & Zeil 1998, In: Spatial representation in animals. (Healy S, ed)
Counting bees
Counting bees
The hippocampus as a model for
processing of spatial memory
Location of the hippocampus in
Why is the hippocampus called
• “The flight of fancy which led Arantius, in 1587, to introduce the term
'hippocampus‘ is recorded in what is perhaps the worst anatomical
description extant. It has left its readers in doubt whether the elevations
of cerebral substance were being compared with fish or beast, and no
one could be sure which end was the head."
Lewis FT 1923 The significance of the term hippocampus. J Comp
Neurol 35: 213
The hippocampus as a neural
substrate for the cognitive map?
Hippocampal place cells
Types of neurons found in
hippocampus and adjacent brain
• place cells
• head direction cells in the subiculum
• The hippocampus receives input from
“intention cells” in prefrontal cortex
Hippocampus and ecology in
birds – what food storing birds
can do:
• hide 50-100 seeds a day, so may have
several 1000 caches
• dig these up after weeks or months
• remember sequence of hiding (so they
unearth the ones hidden earlier)
• remember the quality of seeds so that they
preferentially dig up the better ones
Hippocampus in birds
Learning about mates
Fig. 1.10
Imagine a female who mates with different males over the course of time. Such a
female might learn which male is a good mate by keeping track of the number of
eggs she laid when associated with each male.
Motor learning
Learning about who is part of the family
• e.g. in Java monkeys
• also some species
of social bees (hive
scent is memorised)
Learning and aggression
• e.g. Gourami fish males
fight repeated contests with
other males
Fig. 4.22
Males that had learned to associate a light with the
presence of another male were more aggressive when the
light cue was present.
Fig. 4.23
Fig. 1.11
Fig. 1.12 right
d = deficient; b = balanced;
Fig. 1.12 left
Fig. 1.13 left
Fig. 1.14
• know about the kinds of
behavioural/ecological contexts where
learning is relevant