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Fixed action patterns Qand hopefully A.

  1. Oct 21, 2004 #1
    Hey people :rofl: ,

    I have a question.

    Here is the Q:

    Question 3: (4 points)

    Many baby birds have specific feeding responses that are fixed action patterns elicited by a particular sign stimulus. Nestling starlings are more likely to make a fixed action pattern orienting response to an eliciting stimulus that is higher rather than lower and closer rather than farther away. One way that this can be demonstrated is to hold two thin rods near a nestling starling's head and record which rod the nestling orients towards.

    Below are two side views of how you might hold the two rods near a nestling starling's head. In the space below, indicate for both conditions (i.e., A and B) which rod (i.e., 1 or 2) the nestling starling would most likely orient towards and why. Also, which rod position (i.e., A1, A2, B1, or B2) do you think would elicit the strongest fixed action pattern and why? Hint: consider supernormal stimuli.

    Well here's my take on it.

    in B, the answer is obvious it's 1, because the stimulus is higher and closer than 2.

    But in A, it's a bit ambiguous because the question I don't think tells you which state of the stimulus, either closer or higher is more preferred. If I had to chose, I'd pick 1 because the bird obviously doesn't peck downwards for food, and food usu comes from above. :cool:

    Thanks for any help!

    image is attached.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2004 #2
    nobody eh?
  4. Oct 22, 2004 #3
    As you aren't told whether height has great impact than distance, I guess for A it would help to know what the supernormal stimulus is (which I suppose implies somthing that starlings are sensitive to that humans aren't). This will help answer the final part of the question too.
  5. Oct 22, 2004 #4

    definition of supernormal stimulus

    Supernormal stimulus: A stimulus that produces a more vigorous response than the normal stimulus eliciting that particular response. For example, a female herring gull will brood a giant egg in preference to its own eggs, which are smaller. A supernormal stimulus is an exaggerated sign stimulus.

    I guess in this case both rods are supernormal because both are more narrow than a real beak and is an exaggeration of sign stimulus. But as to which is preferred I STILL don't know... :frown:
  6. Oct 22, 2004 #5
    I'll accept anything, no really. :(
  7. Oct 23, 2004 #6
    Then accept the wise adage: never work with children or animals.
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