|1||Describe one encounter you have had with an animal or group of animals (non-human), an encounter that you found particularly interesting or thought-provoking.|
Scott, Graham. Essential Animal Behavior. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2005. ISBN: 0632057998.
Write definitions for "habituation" and "sensory adaptation". The textbook describes briefly only the former. You must find the rest elsewhere.
Give examples of habituation from your own experience. Can we habituate to complex stimuli as well as to simple stimuli? Answer with your examples.
In your own development, how have you shown learning by imitation and by mimicry? What is the difference between these two processes?
Imitation and/or mimicry have been observed in many non-human primates. Briefly describe an example of such learning in non-primate animals, not found in the Scott textbook. (It occurs, for example, in the development of cats.)
How does the Morris water maze provide evidence for a cognitive map in rats or mice? How could you test for the sensory cues these rodents are using to solve the problem in this maze?
Questions on the Video on Meerkats
What inter-species interactions were indicated, not specifically involving predation?
Give examples of communications among the meerkats involving at least two different modalities.
Describe two examples of "altruistic" helping behaviors.
Describe at least two behaviors that appear to be FAPs used in foraging by meerkats.
What is the major adaptation of this species to predators?
|4||Specify in writing two possible topics for your project paper. Cite at least two sources. If you want to write about human ethology or some other aspect of human behavior, you must include material about other primate species for comparison. If you want to write about one particular species, try to narrow the topic to certain aspects of behavior.
Explain the statement (John Alcock, The Triumph of Sociobiology, p. 150), that "the brain is essentially a reproductive organ...."
|5||Defend sociobiology against the following charge: "Sociobiology predicts that only immoral or amoral actions can evolve. When sociobiologists are confronted with the existence of true altruism and moral behavior, they then change their tune and say that these cases illustrate that human beings are able to resist our evolved impulses. But why would we resist if our actions really have evolved via natural selection?"
Read the article on the following Web site on the field of Evolutionary Psychology. Write a brief review, including the definition and the origins of the term, distinguishing between sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, and a few of the controversies that this field has generated. For help in this, read the "talk page" accessible via a link.