PDF Abstract Microscopic study of the human brain has revealed neural structures, enhanced wiring, and forms of connectivity among nerve cells not found in any animal, challenging the view that the human brain is simply an enlarged chimpanzee brain. On the other hand, cognitive studies have found animals to have abilities once thought unique to the human. This suggests a disparity between brain and mind.
Messenger In the field of animal behaviour, there is one topic that is almost guaranteed to get your study in the popular press: This can be solving problems, using toolsacting pessimistically when feeling down, or taking care of their grandchildren.
People love stories of seemingly clever animals. Yet people usually only consider this comparison from one side: They never really consider what this comparison means for how we understand ourselves. For centuries, philosophers and scientists have tried to understand what makes us unique.
But people often forget that humans are not alone in being unique. Every species on the planet has some features that it shares with other species, and some that make it stand out.
What the evolutionary approach allows us to do is to investigate which features or traits are shared with others and what that sharing tells us about the species in question. Species can share a trait for two reasons: Both of these ways of looking at similarities can be enlightening when trying to understand the nature of humans.
Take a look at similarities derived from common ancestry. Everybody expects chimpanzees and bonobos to be similar to us, because they are our closest relatives. So when we look at them, we usually focus on the ways in which we differ from them.
There are two problems with this. First, any differences between us and chimps are just as likely to be due to changes in chimps since our last common ancestor as they are changes in us. Second, just because humans are the only primate that has a certain trait does not mean that trait is uniquely human.
One obvious example is vocal learning. As far as we know, humans are the only primates who learn to make the sounds that comprise their means of communicating with one another. However, there are many other groups throughout the animal kingdom that learn their vocalisations, for example parrots and songbirds seals and dolphins.
Situations like this allow us to use the natural experiment of evolution to understand the conditions under which vocal learning can evolve and apply this to human evolution as well. In songbirds for example, song learning might have evolved through sexual selection — from females preferring mates with complex songs.
Those males who could mimic sounds composed more complex songs, which gave their genes a better chance of being passed to the next generation. Analogously, some have suggested that human vocal learning may have originally evolved as a male sexual display, in other words singing.
This is just one possibility, but it illustrates how comparative approaches can tell us more about ourselves. This is a common characteristic of humans in low mood as well. Increased caution after a bad experience may well be an evolutionary adaptation that increases our chances of survival.
So comparative approaches help us test hypotheses about ourselves that otherwise would remain pure speculation. It has long been thought that human females live long after the menopause, when they stop being fertile, in order to raise their children and grandchildren to adulthood.
So this explanation would predict finding similar behaviour in other long-lived animals with similarly long-developing young as humans. And that is exactly what was found in killer whales although it was not easy data to obtaina corroboration that makes the explanation more likely in the case of humans too.
So next time you read a story about clever animals that are just like us, try to think about what this says about us and our, not their, evolutionary history. For a greater appreciation of the complexities of nature, try looking at both sides of the coin.In a new study, scientists have identified an alteration to the DNA of a gene that imparts similar anxiety-related behavior in both humans and mice, demonstrating that laboratory animals can be accurately used to study these human behaviors.
Comparative psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the study of animal behavior. Modern research on animal behavior began with the work of Charles Darwin and Georges Romanes and the field has grown into a multidisciplinary subject.
Compare And Contrast The Influence Of Human Behavior. University of Phoenix Material Origins of Psychology and Research Methods Worksheet Part I: Origins of Psychology Within the discipline of psychology, there are several perspectives used to describe, predict, and explain human initiativeblog.com seven major perspectives in modern psychology are psychoanalytic, behaviorist, humanist, cognitive.
Animal behavior research is particularly relevant to the study of human behavior when it comes to the preservation of a species, or how an animal’s behavior helps it survive. Humans and other mammals, in comparison, have bilateral symmetry: You can split us in half one way, with a line drawn straight through our bodies.
Most of the time, animals with radial symmetry move little or move up and down, like . A Comparison of Animal and Human Behavior PAGES 3. WORDS View Full Essay.
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