As a result of mastering this chapter, the student must:


• the basic principles of individual-adaptive activities;

• the importance of different forms of learning in the formation of animal behavior;

be able to

• analyze the role of learning in the origin of various forms of behavior;

• compare the species-specific and individually acquired behavior of animals;


skills of analyzing the types of training of animals of different systematic groups.

Individually adaptive activities

So, as we found out, every instinctive act is a complex interlacing of innate and acquired elements. The individual experience of the animal allows him to adapt to the conditions of the habitat, contributes to the survival and successful reproduction of a particular individual. Individually adaptive activity of the animal is very diverse and consists of components of different nature. The largest share of these components falls on different forms of training.

We consider it necessary to draw your attention to a discrepancy in the terminology commonly used in different literary sources. Psychological literature usually refers to the term "teaching". Physiologists, zoologists, ethologists and animal behavior researchers of other specialties prefer to use the term training & quot ;. To a large extent this discrepancy is due to different translations from the English language the same word learning . Thus, both these terms inherently imply a completely one and the the same!

In psychology, learning is usually called the process, when there is someone who teaches - the instructor, ie the teacher. subject of training. A subject acquiring a new experience in learning is called the subject of learning, and the process itself - learning.

The problems of acquiring individual experience, creating skills, creating new ways of teaching and studying the physiological mechanisms of this process attract the attention of a huge number of researchers of the broadest profile, as well as trainers and teachers. In this regard, there are a number of definitions of the very phenomenon of learning. The subject of modern zoopsychology is most consistent with the definition of learning given by W. Thorp: "Learning is the emergence of adaptive changes in individual behavior as a result of gaining experience."

Individual-adaptive activities, in addition to different forms of education, includes such an important element as rational activity, which will be discussed below.

Classification of learning forms

The forms of animal training are very diverse and therefore there are a number of their classifications.

In particular, ZA Zorina and IP Poletaeva based on the data of O. Menning (1992), D. Dewsbury (1981), R. Thomas (1996), J. Pearce (1998) and others suggest the following classification of forms of individual-adaptive activity of animals:

1) non-associative learning: addictive;

2) Associative learning:

• classical conditioned reflexes;

• instrumental conditioned reflexes;

3) cognitive processes:

• Latent learning;

• choice by pattern;

• learning based on ideas about space; the order of incentives; time, number.

Oh. Menning and D. Dewsbury included in their classifications also insight-training. However, both cognitive processes and insight-learning are to a large extent related to the field of rational activity.

У. Thorpe identifies two groups of processes associated with learning: non-associative and associative, The types that previous authors consider to be cognitive.

The ability to learn is based on the inherent property of the central nervous system plasticity which manifests itself in the ability of the system to change reactions to a repeated multiple stimulus, and also in cases of combined action of the stimulus with others factors.

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