Tinbergen's Legacy: Function and Mechanism in Behavioral Biology

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-02-02
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Nobel laureate Niko Tinbergen laid the foundations for the scientific study of animal behaviour with his work on causation, development, function and evolution. In this book, an international cast of leading animal biologists reflect on the enduring significance of Tinbergen's groundbreaking proposals for modern behavioural biology. It includes a reprint of Tinbergen's original article on the famous 'four whys' and a contemporary introduction, after which each of the four questions are discussed in the light of contemporary evidence. There is also a discussion of the wider significance of recent trends in evolutionary psychology and neuroecology to integrate the 'four whys'. With a foreword by one of Tinbergen's most prominent pupils, Aubrey Manning, this wide-ranging book demonstrates that Tinbergen's views on animal behaviour are crucial for modern behavioural biology. It will appeal to graduate students and researchers in animal behaviour, behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology.

Author Biography

Johan J. Bolhuis is Professor of Behavioral Biology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. His main research interests are in the behavioral, cognitive, and neural mechanisms of learning, memory, and development, in particular song learning in birds. He has served as an editor of the leading journal Animal Behaviour and as President of the Royal Dutch Zoological Society. Simon Verhulst is Assistant Professor of Behavioral Biology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His research interests have included ecological immunology, avian life history evolution, and avian energetics, all with the aim to study the interplay between function and mechanism of behavior. In 2004 he was elected as member of "The Young Academy," the junior section of the Dutch Royal Society. He has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Animal Ecology since 2007.

Table of Contents

Contributors pagep. vii
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xxi
On aims and methods of ethologyp. 1
Tinbergen's four questions and contemporary behavioral biologyp. 25
Causation: the study of behavioral mechanismsp. 35
Tinbergen's fourth question, ontogeny: sexual and individual differentiationp. 54
The development of behavior: trends since Tinbergen (1963)p. 82
The Study of function in behavioral ecologyp. 107
The evolution of behavior, and integrating it towards a complete and correct understanding of behavioral biologyp. 127
Do ideas about function help in the study of causation?p. 147
Function and mechanism in neuroecology: looking for cluesp. 163
Referencesp. 197
Indexp. 228
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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