Week 3


Sept 13th

Bird Song, 1 behavior 4 questions

We will use this topic to address an issue that arises in the Nature vs. Nurture debate, or the debate of Learned vs. Innate as the early ethologist used to classify behavior. Throughout ontogeny, an organisms behavior may change, it may also change according to season, or it may change in response to external stimuli and experience (this is called learning). These behavioral changes that occur on longer time scales are often dependent upon changes in the nervous system. To keep this topic to a manageable size, we will focus on bird brains and the neural circuits that underlie the production of song.

READING (required):
Marler and Tamura (1964) Culturally Transmitted Patterns of Vocal Behavior in Sparrows. Science 146:1483-1486.
Brenowitz, E.A., Margoliash, D., and Nordeen, K.W. (1997) An introduction to birdsona and the avian song system. Journal of Neurobiology 33:495-500.

EXTRA READING (not requied) (this is assigned later in the semester):
Marler (2004) Innateness and the instinct to learn. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences 76:189-200.


We will also prepare for lab by going over basic behavioral observation techniques by discussing "sampling" and "recording" rules as described by Altmann 1974 and the Martin and Bateson text (on reserve in the library) Measuring Behavior: an introductory guide


Sept 15th & 17th

Review of the basics

In order to study Animal Behaivor address bothulitmate and proximate questions in Animal Behavior it is important to review the basics. We wil primarily rely on the text for this review with addition detail provided in lecutre. Although you may be very comfortable and familiar with these topics in general, the book chapters will provide a lot of interesting examples from animal Behavior.

For Natural Selection Dugatkin chapter 2
Animal Behavior in terms of Physiology and Genes Dugatkin chapter 3