Adaptive behaviour is of two types only. Either an animal comes equipped by heredity with the ability to identify situations in which a built-in response is appropriate or it has mechanisms allowing it to adapt its behaviour in situations in which the correct response cannot be predicted. Adaptive behaviour of the second type comes about through natural selection, which weeds out individuals that identify situations inaccurately or respond inappropriately. Adaptive behaviour of the second type comes about through the selection of behavioural variants by the environment. This book is about the second type of adaptive behaviour, of which learning is the most highly developed form. Adaptive Behaviour and Learning constitutes a provocative theoretical integration of the psychological and biological approaches to adaptive behaviour. John Staddon's ideas will have a major impact on psychologists and zoologists' conceptions of the problem of learning. Highly readable, the book will serve as a useful text for courses in learning, animal behaviour and comparative psychology.
Preface; 1. The evolution, development and modification of behaviour; 2. Variation and selection of behaviour; 3. Direct orientation and feedback; 4. Operant behaviour; 5. Reward and punishment; 6. Feeding regulation: a model motivational system; 7. The optimal allocation of behaviour; 8. Choice and decision rules; 9. Foraging and behavioural ecology; 10. Stimulus control and cognition; 11. Stimulus control and performance; 12. Memory and temporal control; 13. Learning I: the acquisition of knowledge; 14. Learning II: the guidance of action; References; Indexes.