ANB 218a 2011

Fundamentals of Animal Behavior

Fall 2011

Psychology/Animal Behavior 218A

Instructor: Jeff Schank


Office: 268D Young Hall

Phone: 752-6332

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-11:50 and by appointment

Course description: This is the first of a two-quarter sequence. PSC/ANB 218B will be offered Winter 2012, and led by Andy Sih, Environmental Science and Policy.  The goal of this course is to sample current and traditional topics in the field of animal behavior. You will learn about the basic phenomena, concepts, and theoretical approaches of animal behavior, but no two-quarter sequence can provide the entire breadth and depth of animal behavior.


Speakers:  Monday: 10:00 AM to 11:50 AM and Tuesday 2:10 PM-4:00 PM

Discussion:  Thursday 12:10 PM to 1:00 PM

Adjustments: Due to the nature of this course adjustments may be required for some speakers and discussion.


Lectures: 188 Young Hall (with possible exceptions)

Discussion: 102A Young Hall


40% position paper and leading discussion (you will write 3 papers and lead or co-lead 1 discussion), 15% review papers on 3 of the position papers (you will write 3 review papers on 3 of the discussion papers), 20% participation in discussions, 25% final exam

Course Website:

Look under the “Courses” menu.

Course details:

(1) As noted below, different topics will be the responsibility of different speakers. Each speaker has been asked to lecture on the assigned topic, and then moderate a 1-hour (when possible) with a student-led discussion on the topic.

(2) This means that you, the students, will be leading the discussions (this task will rotate among you).  Because of the number of people registered, there will often be co-discussants. Please be thinking about what topic you would prefer.

(3) Each speaker will provide readings prior to the beginning of his/her lectures. Please prepare for lectures by reading that material.

(4) Each speaker will assign the associated discussion topic at the beginning of his/her lectures.

(5) Preparation for each discussion will involve

   (a) reviewing the lecture and reading material so that
       you can lead the discussion, but everyone else is expected
       to join in (this is the main part of the 20% participant 

   (b) for a subset of you each time, you will write a 
       short position paper on the topic (no longer than 2 single-spaced pages) that you will circulate to all parties to read exactly one week  after
       the topic is discussed. You should look into additional
       reading and include references for these papers.  You will
       send it using the class email list:; and

  (c)  A subset of you, will write a short review of the 
       position paper (between 1/2 and 1 page 
       spaced pages).  The review will briefly
       discuss the the strong points of the position 
       paper and the weak points (e.g., "I think the author
       should have included more about X", or "I do not 
       think that topic X is fundamental to the topic."
       or "I think that that X is better, explained or 
       articulated as this...").  The short review will 
       be due 3 days after you receive the discussion paper.
       You will send out your review using the
       class email list:



Fundamentals of Animal Behavior (ANB/PSC218A – Schank Instructor)

Lecture times – M, 10:00-11:50 AM; T, 2:10-4:00 PM; Discussion times – TR, 12:10-1:00 PM (with possible exceptions indicated in red)

1. Monday – Sept. 26 – Organize; Introduction, Jeff Schank


        (1) On the aims and methods of ethology
        (2) Complexity and Organization

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  part 1: (11.3 MB)  part 2: (11.3 MB)

2. Tuesday – Sept. 27 –  Communication, Gail Patricelli


        (1) Signaling
        (2) Avian psychology and communication

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: power_point_icon   (24.5 MB)

   Thursday – Sept 29  – Discussion – Jeff Schank – Introduction
   Audio file:   (12.4 MB)

3. Monday – Oct. 3 – Communication, Gail Patricelli


        (1) Complex signal function: developing a framework of testable hypotheses.
        (2) What do animal signals mean?
        (3) The central importance of information in studies of animal communication.
        (4) Information and Communication

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:  power_point_icon  pdf_icon    (25.7 MB)

4. Tuesday – Oct. 4 – Communication, Gail Patricelli


        (1) Animal Signals: Models and Terminology.
        (2) The cost of honesty and the fallacy of the handicap principle

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:   (25.5 MB)

   Thursday – Oct. 6 – Discussion – Gail Patricelli
        – Communication
        – Dicussion Leader: Bree Putman
        – Special Meeting Time: 2:10 – 3:00 PMAudio:   (12.2 MB)

5. Monday – Oct. 10 –  Quantitative genetics, Andy Sih


        (1) Multivariate inheritance and evolution: a review of concepts
        (2) The genetics of fish behavior

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: power_point_icon   (25.6 MB)

6. Tuesday – Oct 11 –  Quantitative genetics, Andy Sih

 Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:   (25.8 MB)

   Thursday – Oct. 13 – Discussion 
        – Quantitative genetics
        – Dicussion Leaders: Elizabeth Matthews and Natalia Dugue

7. Monday Oct. 17 – Genomics, Brian Trainor


        (1) Natural variations in maternal care are associated with estrogen receptor expression and estrogen sensitivity in the medial preoptic area.
        (2) Serotonin transporter genotype x construction stress interaction in rats.
        (3) Gene expression profiles in the brain predict behavior in individual honey bees.

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: power_point_icon  (25.8 MB)

8. Tuesday Oct. 18 – Genomics, Brian Trainor

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:   (22 MB)

   Thursday – Oct. 20 – Discussion – Brian Trainor – Genomics
        – Discussion Leader: Hanie Elfenbein  (13.3 MB)

9. Monday Oct. 24 – Methodology, Jeff Schank


        (1) The Earth Is Round (p < .05)
        (2) Pseudoreplication and the Design of Ecological Field Experiments
        (3) Pseudoreplication is a Pseudoproblem
        (4) The Ancient Black Art and Transdisciplinary Extent of Pseudoreplication (optional)
        (5) Pseudoreplication Is (Still) a Problem (optional)
        (6) Pseudoreplication Conventions Are Testable Hypotheses (optional)
        (7) Trade-Offs in the Design of Experiments (optional)
        (8) An Ancient Black Art (optional)
        (9) Logic of experiments in ecology: is pseudoreplication a pseudoissue? (optional)
        (10) An Entomologist Guide to Demystify Pseudoreplication: Data Analysis of Field Studies With Design Constraints (optional)

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (22.6 MB)

10. Tuesday Oct. 25 – Development, Jeff Schank


        (1) A stroll through the worlds of animals and men: A picture book of invisible worlds – Skim through
            it to get an idea of the notion of Umwelt
        (2) A critique of Konrad Lorenz's theory of instinctive behavior.
        (3) Metaphors and the role of genes in development.
        (4) An ecological approach to behavioral development: insights from comparative psychology.

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:  pdf_icon  (22.8 MB)

   Friday – Oct. 28 – Discussion – Jeff Schank 
        – Methodology   (13.6 MB)
        – Special Meeting Time: 8:00 AM – 9:50 AMSpecial Room: Haring 1311ADiscussion leaders: William Rockey and Julie Cotton
        – Development   (9.1 MB)
        – Discussion leaders: Julie Cotton

11. Monday Oct. 31 – Learning/Cognition, Richard Coss


        (1) I. P. Pavlov: Classical Conditioning
        (2) Burrhus F. Skinner: Radical Behaviorism
        (3) Skinner Glossary

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon (Notes on Pavlov) pdf_icon (Notes on Skinner) pdf_icon (Lecture Grapics)
                                (6.6 MB – Coss voice only)
                                (26.8 MB – Coss voice plus background)

12. Tuesday Nov. 1 – Behavioral endocrinology, Tom Hahn


        (1) Hormonal control and evolution of alternative male phenotypes: generalizations of models of sexual differentiation
        (2) Variation in reproductive behaviour within a sex: neural systems and endocrine activation Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon (One slide per page) pdf_icon (Three slides per page)  (25.8 MB) Thursday – Nov. 3 – Discussion – Richard Coss – Learning/Cognition – Discussion leaders: Christopher Dills Kristina "Mary" Bonaparte  (12.4 MB) 

13. Monday Nov. 7 – Behavioral endocrinology, Tom Hahn

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon (One slide per page) pdf_icon (Three slides per page)
                                (25.9 MB)

14. Tuesday Nov. 8 – Behavior Schedules, Tom Hahn


        (1) Organization of vertebrate annual cycles: implications for control mechanisms Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon (One slide per page) pdf_icon (Three slides per page)  (24.6 MB) Thursday – Nov. 10 – Discussion – Tom Hahn – Behavioral endocrinology – Discussion Leader: Emily Rothwell  (13.5 MB) 

15. Monday Nov. 14 – Behavior Schedules, Tom Hahn


        (1) Diurnality and nocturnality in nonhuman primates: comparative chronobiological studies in laboratory and nature

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:   (26 MB)

16. Tuesday Nov. 15 – Movement and Migration, Marilyn Ramenofsky


        (1) Behavioral Endocrinology of Migration
        (3) Regulation of Migration

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: pdf_icon  (26.9 MB)

   Thursday – Nov. 17 – Discussion – Tom Hahn 
        – Behavior Schedules
        – Discussion leader: Aaron Haiman
        –  (12.6 MB)

   Friday – Nov. 18 – Discussion – Marilyn Ramenofsky 
        – Movement and Migration 
        – Special Time: 9:00 AM to 9:50 AMSpecial Room: Young Hall 145Discussion leader: Aaron Haiman and Jack Darwin
        –  (12.6 MB)

17. Monday Nov. 21 – Agent-Based Models of Behavior, Jeff Schank


        (1) Agent-based modeling: Methods and techniques for simulating human systems
        (2) Agent-Based Modeling: A New Approach for Theory Building in Social Psychology (other than
            human examples, the points made here apply to animal
            behavior as well)
        (3) A standard protocol for describing individual-based and agent-based models
        (4) Beyond Reductionism: Refocusing on the Individual with Individual-based Modeling

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:   pdf_icon  (18.4 MB)

18. Tuesday Nov. 22 – Social bonding: evolution, physiology, neurobiology, and development, Karen Bales


        (1) Social effects of oxytocin in humans: context and person matter
        (2) Consequences of Early Experiences and Exposure to Oxytocin and Vasopressin Are Sexually Dimorphic
        (3) Are behavioral effects of early experience mediated by oxytocin?

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:   pdf_icon  (23.6 MB)

   Thursday – Nov. 24 – No Discussion – Thanksgiving Holiday

   Monday – Nov. 28 – Discussion – Jeff Schank
        – Agent-Based Models of Behavior
        – Special Time: 9:00 AM to 9:50 AMSpecial Room: Young Hall 188Jeff SchankDiscussion Leader:  Brendan Barrett and Elizabeth Matthews
        –  (23.6 MB)

19. Monday Nov. 28 – Animal Welfare, YeunShin Lee


        (1) Understanding Animal Welfare. (14.8 MB)
        (2) Behavioral development in animals undergoing domestication.

   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio:   pdf_icon  (26.8 MB)

20. Tuesday Nov. 29 – Animal Welfare, YeunShin Lee


   Slides/Lecture Notes/Audio: power_point_icon

   Thursday – Dec. 1 – Discussion 
        – Social bonding
        – Karen BalesDiscussion Leader:  Emily Rothwell and Jack Darwin

   Friday – Dec. 2 – Discussion – YeunShin Lee
        – Animal Welfare 
        – Special Time: 11:00 AM to 11:50 AMSpecial Room: Meyer Hall 2219Discussion leaders: Natalia Duque and 
        Kristina "Mary" Bonaparte

FINAL EXAM – Dec. 10, 24h take home (Tentative)