Development of instinctive behavior in natural conditions, Spontaneous...

Development of instinctive behavior in natural conditions

Simple search behavior - key incentives - the closing act ", which is commonly used to describe behavior, in pure form is observed only when performing relatively simple behavioral acts. As such a simple behavioral act can give an example of hygienic behavior of a cat. The search stage of this behavioral act begins to develop at a time when the cat needs to urinate or excrement, and is that the animal is sent to look for a site with enough loose soil to dig a hole in it. In natural conditions, such a place can be located at some distance from the location of the cat at the moment, the soil can be very different, and the preliminary experience of the cat has great significance in the search. When the necessary place, playing the role of a key stimulus, is found, the final act enters into force, in the form of a fixed set of actions. A cat digs a hole, urinates or defecates and then digs it. In natural conditions, this action is directed to not leaving a specific odor.

However, in the conditions of an apartment, cats often perform the instillation procedure in a cuvette devoid of any substrate, or generally on the bare tiled floor. Similar meaningless of this behavioral act just shows the rigid instinctual conditionality of a fixed set of actions, which is its final act.

Such simple acts of behavior from the general behavioral repertoire of the animal can be isolated quite rarely. More often than not, every act of behavior that develops according to the classical scheme turns out to be included in a more complex system. For example, in some cases, the search behavior leads not to a final act, but to a combination of stimuli that stimulates the next phase of search behavior. So, in our example with a flycatcher, after creating a pair in birds, the final act in the form of mating is preceded by a period of courtship. After mating, the next stage of exploratory behavior begins - building a nest, then laying eggs, incubating, rearing chicks, etc. To determine such forms of multi-stage exploratory behavior, the student of Tinbergen, Berends introduced the notion hierarchy of search behavior. "

So, as already mentioned, a complex instinctive act can be represented in the form of a whole chain of simpler behavioral acts, consisting of the search stage and the final act. It is interesting that if such a chain is interrupted, then the further development of behavior depends on which stage of the instinctive act, search or completion, this break occurred. In order to clarify this point, let us turn to the textbook experiments of the French entomologist Fabre, carried out with single wasps by the specs (Figure 5.3).

Females of these digging wasps lay eggs in the abdominal cavity of crickets of a certain type. During the entire period of growth and development, the larva of the sphese feeds on such a paralyzed but alive cricket that preserves the nutritional qualities necessary for development, starting to eat it from the least vital organs. Fabre, with astonishment, describes the accuracy with which the wasp finds the ganglions of crickets, as if it is familiar with the anatomy of insects. Somewhat later, it was shown that the guide for the puncture is a pattern on the back of the insect.

The wasps, dragging a paralyzed victim to the mink

Fig. 5.3. The wasps, dragging a paralyzed victim to the burrow

The behavior of the wasp develops in a completely definite pattern, consisting of a chain of sequential actions:

1) the wasp digs out the mink;

2) sent in search of cricket;

3) Finding a cricket of the desired species, the wasp paralyzes it, piercing three ganglia with a sting;

4) a paralyzed cricket of a wasp remains at the entrance to the burrow and descends into it;

5) gets out of the mink and drags cricket there;

6) in the burrow the wasp puts the egg into the abdominal cavity of the cricket;

7) zamorovyvaet the ground entrance to the mink.

Fabre conducted a series of experiments with the female sphese. He knew that the wasp dragged the cricket into the excavated mink just behind the antennae. While the female of the sfexa was checking the mink, Fabre cut off such a paralyzed crook of antennae. The wasp emerged from the burrow was completely helpless and did not even make any attempts to drag the cricket into the mink, capturing it for some other part of the body. As a result, the wasp again went in search of cricket. Fabre repeated this procedure several times, before the mink grew a hill of crickets with severed mustache, but to change the stereotype of his behavior, namely, to bring the cricket into a hole, capturing him for another part of the body, the wasp did not try. In fact, she had to re-implement the whole sequence of actions. When Fabre stopped interfering with the activity of the wasp, she managed to carry out the instinctive act.

In another experiment, Fabre, in front of a wasp, pulled a paralyzed cricket with a layed egg from the mink, but it returned to the mink and, despite the absence of a cricket, immured it. The hatched larva must inevitably perish, but this was already beyond the action of the instinct of the reflex, mechanically repeating the same manipulations for thousands of generations.

Thus, in the first case, the disruption of the chain of instinctive actions led to the fact that the animal started the entire procedure first. In the second, since the basic sequence of actions of the special was already carried out, she completed the final act of behavior to the end.

Spontaneous manifestation of instincts

To. Lorentz pointed out that along with a strictly reflex manifestation of instinctive actions in response to a key stimulus, there are sometimes cases of their spontaneous manifestations.

Thus, starlings, when catching fly insects, perform specific movements with their beaks, accompanied by a characteristic click, then they kill their prey and swallow it. In natural conditions, the development of such behavior requires, first of all, the presence of prey. K. Lorentz observed the behavior of a manual starling, grown in isolated conditions. The bird received food from the feeder and could not perform a stereotypic species-specific reaction, i.e. the final act of food-producing behavior, which involves capturing on the fly an insect, because of their absence.

Gradually, the starling began to try to pursue any stimuli that appeared near the cell, while in the absence of insects, he performed the complete sequence of movements necessary to catch them. The starling unexpectedly took off, clicked his beak in the void, returned to the perch, performed the characteristic movements that usually kill an insect, and, finally, "swallowed a fly". According to Lorentz, the reaction took place in this case "idle". Similar behavior was described by RA A. Hynd on the example of a canary. Deprived of material for building a nest, the bird carried and weaved non-existent blades of grass into a non-existent nest. A similar example is the digging dog sex and spinning on the spot, before you go to sleep: at first the dog sort of digs out a hole in the ground, then, as it were, "takes the grass".

These examples illustrate the possibility of a significant reduction in the threshold of instinctive actions if they have not been committed for some reason for some reason.

Subsequent analysis has shown that all complex behavioral acts to some extent contain both spontaneous and reflex elements. In reality, it is very difficult to establish to what extent individual elements of behavior are spontaneous or caused by external stimuli, which the observer simply can not catch. Constant external conditions in themselves after a while can become external stimuli for the occurrence of the corresponding reactions.

The presence of facts of spontaneity of instinctive behavior played an important role in the formation of the ideas of K. Lorenz on the internal mechanisms of the behavioral act.

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