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Neural and Behavioural PlasticityThe Use of the Domestic Chick as a Model$
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R. J. Andrew

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198521846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198521846.001.0001

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The chick in experiment: techniques and tests

The chick in experiment: techniques and tests

Chapter:
(p.5) 1 The chick in experiment: techniques and tests
Source:
Neural and Behavioural Plasticity
Author(s):

R. J. Andrew

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198521846.003.0002

This chapter describes the techniques and tests involving the use of chicks in scientific experiments, giving an overview of general features that define the birth, survival and physical characteristics of chicks. It then describes the behavioural aspects of chicks that are used in experiments. The chick has a rich behavioural repertoire, much more of which could be profitably used in experiment. Escape responses provide a useful index of the extent to which a stimulus or situation is found aversive or frightening. The behaviours most neglected by experimenters are the calls of the chick, which include short calls, peeps and warbles. Behaviours provide potentially valuable additional measures for learning tasks. The chapter also introduces the concept of learning in chicks. Tests of whether a subject responds more strongly to one stimulus than another may be conducted and analysed in a variety of ways. Each method has its own advantages and drawbacks, which are highlighted in the chapter.

Keywords:   chicks, behavioural repertoire, peeps, warbles

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