Characteristics of imprinting in vertebrates

Milković, Ana (2010) Characteristics of imprinting in vertebrates. Bachelor's thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Imprint is a specialized type of learning that affects permanent, and according to many authors, irreversible changes in the behavior of individuals. It is best explored in birds, even though it occurs in other animals as well, and main component of this phenomenon is the sensitive period. Although it was initially claimed that it was irreversible, the recent literature claims there is at least partial reversibility. Besides irreversibility and the sensitive period, principle of learning also makes a difference between imprint and typical learning. In the case of imprint, animals do not behave according to the principle of trial and error, and are not guided by rewards and punishments; rather, the very exposure to stimuli in a given time determines their future behavior. Filial imprinting, which allows a young to know its mother, and sexual, which enables it to recognize potential partners, are the two best-known types of imprinting. Both types are best explored in various bird species, and although they have some common characteristics, these two types of imprinting differ primarily with regard to the time when sensitive period appears. In addition, while the characteristic of filial imprinting is preferring individual that is considered to be its mother, in sexual imprinting, the animal creates preferences for features of species, and not particular individuals. The effects of this phenomenon depend on many factors, such as species, time and duration of exposure to a particular stimulus, and in some species even gender. However, the imprinting is in many cases irreversible, as it is claimed in history of research, and complete understanding of it requires a lot of research.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's thesis)
Supervisor: Mrakovčić, Milorad
Date: 2010
Number of Pages: 15
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Silvana Šehić
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2014 12:40
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 12:40

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