What Is Innate and Learned Animal Behavior? | Sciencing
Innate behaviors have a strong genetic component and are largely Distinguish between kinesis, taxis, and migration in response to stimuli . Altruistic behaviors may be explained by the natural instinct to improve the chances of passing on. Apr 24, The difference between an innate behavior and a learned one is that These behaviors are programmed into an animal at a genetic level. explain the relationship between innate behaviors and genetics the ability of an animal to perform a behavior the first time its exposed to a certain stimulus.
Key points Innate behavior is behavior that's genetically hardwired in an organism and can be performed in response to a cue without prior experience. Reflex actions, such as the knee-jerk reflex tested by doctors and the sucking reflex of human infants, are very simple innate behaviors.
Some organisms perform innate kinesis, undirected change in movement, and taxis, directed change in movement, behaviors in response to stimuli. Fixed action patterns consist of a series of actions triggered by a key stimulus. The pattern will go to completion even if the stimulus is removed. Scientists can test if a behavior is innate by providing a stimulus to naive—untrained—animals and to see if the behavior is automatically triggered. Introduction If you watch a herring gull caring for its chicks, you may notice a funny ritual around feeding time.
What Are Innate and Learned Behaviors?
The parent gull has a red spot on its beak. When it taps its beak on the ground, the chick will peck at the spot several times. This pecking triggers a response in the parent: Herring gull chicks will peck at the red dots of their parents' beaks without any prior training.
In fact, a baby herring gull can be tricked by a yellow stick adorned with a red dot—it will peck at the stick just as eagerly as it would at a parent's beak. Given the right cues, an organism will perform an innate behavior without the need for prior experience or learning.Learned and Inherited Behaviors
Innate behaviors tend to be very predictable—like the herring gull tapping—and they are often performed in a very similar way by all members of a species. In this article, we'll see examples of behaviors that are largely or fully innate.
Keep in mind, though, that many behaviors in the real world are partly innate and partly learned. Zebra finches, for example, are preprogrammed to learn a song, but which song they learn depends on their early experience. Reflexes Perhaps the simplest example of an innate behavior is a reflex action: One example of a human reflex action is the knee-jerk reflex. To test this reflex, a doctor taps the tendon below your kneecap with a rubber hammer.
The tap activates nearby neurons, causing your lower leg to kick involuntarily. This automatic response depends on circuits of neurons that run between the knee and the spinal cord—it doesn't even involve your brain!
Innate Behavior ( Read ) | Biology | CK Foundation
In the quadriceps muscle of your thigh, there is a stretch receptor neuron that is activated when your patellar tendon gets tapped. This stretch receptor neuron sends a signal to two other neurons in the spinal cord: One is a motor neuron—muscle-controlling neuron—that travels back to the quadriceps.
This neuron is activated by the stretch receptor neuron and causes the quadriceps muscle to contract. The other is an inhibitor neuron, which links up to a motor neuron controlling the hamstring muscle on the back of your thigh. When activated, the inhibitor neuron prevents the hamstring muscle from contracting, ensuring that it doesn't oppose the quadriceps muscle.
Simplified diagram of neural circuits involved in the knee-jerk reflex. When the patellar tendon is tapped, the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh is stretched, activating a sensory neuron that wraps around a muscle cell. The sensory neuron's axon extends all the way into the spinal cord, where it synapses on two targets: One target is a motor neuron innervating the quadriceps muscle.
The sensory neuron activates the motor neuron, causing the quadriceps muscle to contract. The other target is an interneuron. The sensory neuron activates the interneuron. However, this interneuron is itself inhibitory, and the target it inhibits is a motor neuron traveling to the hamstring muscle on the back of the thigh. Thus, the activation of the sensory neuron serves to inhibit contraction in the hamstring muscle. The hamstring muscle thus relaxes, facilitating contraction of the quadriceps muscle, which is antagonized by the hamstring muscle.
For instance, a newborn baby will suck at anything that touches the roof of its mouth. Baby bottle by Dirk Beeki Schumacher, public domain Kinesis and taxis Some organisms have innate behaviors in which they change their movement in response to a stimulus, such as high temperature or a tasty food source.
Learned behaviors are just that -- learned -- and animals will acquire them throughout life.
Innate Behavior Instinct is a powerful force in the animal world. It dictates the behaviors necessary for survival, especially in species that don't get much guidance from their parents.
These behaviors are programmed into an animal at a genetic level. An innate behavior is inheritable, passing from generation to generation through genes.
It is also intrinsic, meaning that even an animal raised in isolation will perform the behavior, and stereotypic, meaning that it is done the same way every time. Innate behaviors are also inflexible and are not modified by experience. Finally, they are consummate, which means that the behavior is fully developed from the animal's birth. Example of Innate Behavior Sea turtle hatchlings provide one of the best examples of innate behavior. They hatch never having seen their parents, so there is no opportunity for acquiring learned behavior.
Genes, environment, and behavior
Yet, sea turtle hatchlings instinctively dig their way out of the buried hatchery. Even though this digging can take days, the hatchlings time themselves so that they emerge at night, when they are safest as they struggle toward the sea.
- Innate Behavior
- Key points
There is no parent present to tell them they must wait for nightfall or that they must get to the sea. It is simply an innate knowledge, an instinct that drives them to action. Sciencing Video Vault Learned Behaviors Learned behaviors come from experience and are not present in an animal at its birth.
Through trial and error, memories of past experiences and observations of others, animals learn to perform certain tasks. Generally, learned behaviors are not inheritable and must be taught to or learned by each individual.