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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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Imprinting, predispositions, and filial preference in the chick

Imprinting, predispositions, and filial preference in the chick

(p.133) 5 Imprinting, predispositions, and filial preference in the chick
Neural and Behavioural Plasticity

M. H. Johnson

J. J. Bolhuis

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents evidence that the formation of filial preference in the domestic chick is the result of exposure to a particular conspicuous object and of the development of a specific predisposition. Components of filial preference not attributable to specific experience are referred to as predispositions. Chicks not only have predispositions to approach particular objects, they are also predisposed to peck at stimuli with particular characteristics. There is some evidence from studies of adult chickens and quail that features of the head and neck are particularly important in the recognition of individuals in a dominance hierarchy and for the elicitation of social proximity behaviour. The conditions that a chick encounters shortly after emerging from under its mother, even for brief periods, may ensure the rapid appearance of the specific predisposition. Auditory stimulation plays an important role in the formation of filial preferences in the chick.

Keywords:   filial preference, predispositions, social proximity behaviour, auditory stimulation, dominance hierarchy

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