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Re: [evol-psych] "Fixed" Action Patterns

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  • Jay R. Feierman
    Michael Lamport Commons: Functional variability needs another explanatory variable other than releasing stimuli. Usually it is reinforced practice. Jay R.
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 28, 2006
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      Michael Lamport Commons: Functional variability needs another explanatory variable other than releasing stimuli.  Usually it is reinforced practice.
       
      Jay R. Feierman: The nervous impulses which determine functionally defined behavior get routed through he frontal lobes and are a influenced by prior learning (i.e., information stored in memory), strategy, intelligence and creativity. Perhaps they are the "explanatory variables" you are looking for. In general, functionally defined, mood independent behavior is only utilized when a goal or a resource is thwarted by a species novel obstacle. When important resources are not thwarted by species-novel obstacles, they can usually be acquired by fixed action patterns, even in humans. I don't know that "reinforced practice" is the primary determinant of functionally defined behavior. As an example, in humans parental care is predominantly functionally defined behavior. Parental care is rewarding in its own right (i.e., it feels good to protect your offspring) whether it is executed by structurally or functionally definable behavior. There does not have to be any outside reinforcement. Somehow I get the impression that you don't believe that some behaviors are just pleasurable in themselves to execute and can occur without external "reinforced practice."
       

       
    • James Gray
      I would like to comment on this from a slightly different perspective. I think I mostly agree with Jay, but am looking at it from a different perspective. I
      Message 2 of 21 , Mar 2, 2006
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        I would like to comment on this from a slightly different perspective.  I think I mostly agree with Jay, but am looking at it from a different perspective.  I am not sure when one would want to make a distinction between "fixed" action pattern and consummatory behavior.  It is certainly a mistake to assume that consummatory behavior is just about eating and drinking.  Opportunity for behaviors like retrieving a ball by a dog or parental care behaviors can be used as reinforcers in an operant conditioning situation.  There were studies done years ago in which one type of reinforcer (like drinking water) was used to get an animal to eat more food than they would have left on their own.  The whole concept of reinforcement is based on the concept that there some behaviors like eating that animals will do because it is pleasurable.  "Reinforced practice" is entirely dependent on their being behaviors that animals will do without other rewards.  Appetitive behavior is what animals do to be able to engage in consummatory behavior.  Hunting by carnivores is the ultimate appetitive behavior.  I do believe there are a number of consummatory acts (fixed action patterns?) between the initiation of the hunt and the eating of the prey.  But the other behaviors that make up the hunt are appetitive behavior and subject to reinforced practice.
         
        James L. Gray
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2006 12:00 AM
        Subject: Re: [evol-psych] "Fixed" Action Patterns

        Michael Lamport Commons: Functional variability needs another explanatory variable other than releasing stimuli.  Usually it is reinforced practice.
         
        Jay R. Feierman: The nervous impulses which determine functionally defined behavior get routed through he frontal lobes and are a influenced by prior learning (i.e., information stored in memory), strategy, intelligence and creativity. Perhaps they are the "explanatory variables" you are looking for. In general, functionally defined, mood independent behavior is only utilized when a goal or a resource is thwarted by a species novel obstacle. When important resources are not thwarted by species-novel obstacles, they can usually be acquired by fixed action patterns, even in humans. I don't know that "reinforced practice" is the primary determinant of functionally defined behavior. As an example, in humans parental care is predominantly functionally defined behavior. Parental care is rewarding in its own right (i.e., it feels good to protect your offspring) whether it is executed by structurally or functionally definable behavior. There does not have to be any outside reinforcement. Somehow I get the impression that you don't believe that some behaviors are just pleasurable in themselves to execute and can occur without external "reinforced practice."
         

         
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