Questions tagged [learning]

This tag is not for asking questions about "learning biology". Learning is acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. It can be broken down to acquiring or modifying the reaction to the external input on its repetitive presentation.

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Should soundscape ecology be a component of STEM education? [closed]

I'd like to see soundscape ecology be included in STEM education. I realize there is so much to teach and so little time, but think that primary and secondary students would be highly motivated and ...
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12 votes
2 answers
5k views

Do spiders learn how to build webs?

Concerning spiders, is there any research on whether web-building is an inherited behavior, or if it must be observed and learned? e.g. Has anyone hatched spider eggs in isolation and observed whether ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Alternative hypothesis for learning in brain beyond the hebbian rule

I was reading on wikipedia that there are exceptions to the hebbian rule, and I was curious about the possibilities of other hypotheses of how learning occur in the brain. So I would like to know: ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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How do beavers learn how to build dams?

I was wondering whether all beavers, from all around the world, know how to build dams and lodges? Do they need to learn it from their parents? If you release a group of beavers in the wild that haven'...
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3 votes
1 answer
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A question concerning the strength of synapses

Synaptic strength can be defined »as the average amount of current or voltage excursion produced in the postsynaptic neuron by an action potential in the presynaptic neuron« Synaptic strengths and ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Long-term potentiations that last for a lifetime

One reads more often than not that long-term potentiation has been reported to last for as long as several weeks LTP is persistent, lasting from several minutes to many months and most sources seem ...
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-2 votes
4 answers
215 views

Why doesn't evolution converge on perfection? [duplicate]

I got to know about an organism called "Tardigrade(water bear)" which is an extremely hardy organism and can survive in most conditions. My question is that if the aim of life in general is to ...
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2 votes
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Will daily sweeped ants eventually learn their path is a dead-end?

An ant colony (likely Lasius niger) made its way through one of our rooms, literally. That is, they enter by a door and leave by the other, and vice versa. Some carry eggs, but in both ways, so I'm ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
93 views

Why do we develop addiction? [duplicate]

Recently, while on the train, I saw a person not holding the handrails on purpose. He decided that playing a game with no outcome whatsoever was more important than his safety. In fact, he bumped into ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is there a link between brain's energy consumption and human experience?

I was read the article (in Scientific American Mind) about energy consumption of brain. There are: Say you are learning a new skill—how to juggle or speak Spanish. Neuroscientists have made the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Neuroscience and learning of a single neuron [closed]

Can you teach an alphabet to a neuron? If yes, how? How does a neuron 'learn' new information, do all individuals learns similarly ?
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0 votes
1 answer
293 views

Why don't intelligent animals like primates use plastic bags? [duplicate]

I'll be honest here. Although this is a serious question, what made me wonder about it is this comic from Wumo: This question is not specific to monkeys. It applies to animals that live with or ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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More general term than "adaptation"

The Wikipedia article about adaptation states: Adaptation differs from flexibility, acclimatization, and learning. What is a more general term than adaptation? For example, is there an umbrella ...
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1 vote
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Learn biology without experimentations [closed]

I'm a high school student in a third-world country (Algeria). My problem is with the way we are been taught biology. It's all about memorizing facts and procedures from a textbook without any ...
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1 vote
0 answers
49 views

How fast animals habituate to wearing shoes

You probably have seen hilarious videos of dogs wearing shoes for the first time. Animals usually very uncomfortable and try to "shake it off", as they seem to consider shoes be some sort of sticky ...
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3 votes
1 answer
249 views

Neuroscience of confusion

How does (neuro)science characterize "confusion" that occur to "healthy" persons when engaged on a particular mentally-intensive task? I would exclude the case where we are rationally and with clear ...
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1 vote
1 answer
130 views

How is "firing together" detected in Hebbian learning?

I assume, that the signal that forces a synaptic receptor/ion channel complex to change its behaviour (i.e. strengthening in the course of upregulation) must be the combination of the state of the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
444 views

Synaptic connectivity in the newborn's brain

In my understanding, learning is related to the strengthening and weakening of synaptic connections. Very roughly said: Synaptic connections that are used often are strengthened, those that are used ...
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3 votes
2 answers
325 views

Is neurogenesis essencial for learning?

So I read that our brain produces 700 new neurons in the hippocampus every day and that if we perform cognitive demanding tasks, eat omega-3 or exercise (other things?) it can produce even more ...
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5 votes
1 answer
269 views

What is the most basic organism to respond to Classical conditioning (capable of learning)? [duplicate]

I have been doing some reading of Classical conditioning which is considered to be an indication of animal's ability to learn... Before this I considered insects to be machine like - devoid of any ...
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4 votes
1 answer
430 views

The simplest organism that can learn?

What is the simplest organism that was observed to learn: change its behavior permanently in response to some event/stimuli in a way that this change persists even if the event does not happen again?
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4 votes
3 answers
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How do I score differential activity of cellular pathways in microarray data (not enrichment)?

I would like to identify cellular pathways (KEGG) with discriminative changes in the average activity (expression levels) of their gene members in a two-condition microarray dataset. The goal is to ...
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3 votes
0 answers
88 views

To what extent is excretory control a learned vs. instinctive behavior?

Human babies are clearly not born knowing whether/how to hold in urine and feces, and teaching them to do so requires a nontrivial (really nontrivial...) amount of work on the parents' part. But once ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Is there a correlation between Animal Intelligence x Playing time?

I'm writing a small text for a blog about playing time and I wish to have more resources about the correlation between Intelligence and Playing time in animals. If not exactly that, maybe some ...
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1 vote
1 answer
216 views

Molecular/cellular biology textbook to consolidate what I know about molecular/cell biology

I'm a medical student (who is halfway through med school) looking for a textbook that will consolidate some of the biology I already know. While I've read a lot of books that go into great detail ...
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1 vote
1 answer
417 views

Short dated spontaneous ringing in ear [closed]

What causes very high pitched sound in one's ear?
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does a neuron change as you learn?

I am currently taking a course called "Introduction to Machine Learning with ENCOG 3", and I have a question about how well the Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm for a "neural network" ...
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6 votes
1 answer
157 views

Spatial learning in microorganisms

Has there ever been an experiment performed that demonstrated a form of 'spatial memory' in a unicellular organism? I'm imagining something analogous to the classic 'rat in maze' experiments, but ...
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9 votes
1 answer
945 views

Is lumosity.com based on science?

I always see these Lumosity ads on TV, and I personally feel they are just trying to "sell me something". I did some layman's research (wikipedia) and read that "Studies of Lumosity's effectiveness ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Does learning increase the number of neurons in the brain?

I am attempting to understand neurogenesis related to learning. Does learning increase the number of neurons in the human brain? What would be some good scientific publications to read?
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3 votes
0 answers
107 views

How did birds become so intelligent?

I have seen a Discovery Channel video of a bird throwing stones in a pot to raise the water level so it is able to reach and drink it. A similar experiment in this paper from Current Biology shows ...
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1 vote
0 answers
38 views

Immediate Early Genes during sleep

In Neuroscience 3rd ed by Bear et al. on page 607, immediate early genes are described as related to changing synaptic strength, yet have decreased expression during sleep. The explanation given is ...
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8 votes
1 answer
448 views

Do blind people learn Braille equally fast as the sighted?

The visually deprived brain undergoes extensive remodeling due to cross-modal plasticity. This leads to increased areas of the cortex being available for other purposes such as tactile processing. Now ...
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5 votes
1 answer
318 views

Can ants learn things?

I have an ant nest in a jar. Whenever I want to observe them, I have to remove the cover and therefore put them in light - that scares them. They also can see shadow cast by myself. I often throw in ...
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What happens once a brain is full?

I just read the answer to this question, and it got me thinking... If the human brain (or any other brain) has a finite amount of storage, what would happen once the brain has taken in its maximum ...
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5 votes
0 answers
67 views

Honeybee decision process: new food, new home, new threat [closed]

I have heard that honeybees send out scouts, then based on the scout reports more bees go then come back and report and so they are supposed to be efficient decision makers. Can you give as complete ...
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12 votes
2 answers
21k views

Why can all animals swim in water without learning to swim but humans cannot?

I had a question since I was a child. I was always curious about the fact that all animals can swim in water. They don't need any training or to learn swimming. But humans need to learn to swim. Why ? ...
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4 votes
2 answers
259 views

Is Homo sapiens the only species capable of prioritization?

Just what the title states--given an absurdly large number of assignments to perform in a limited time-frame we usually attempt to do the most important ones first. Is this ability to define and ...
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4 votes
2 answers
161 views

How do proteins and genes participate in learning?

I am a computer scientist that studies biology and bioinformatics. In the last weeks, I have been trying to study new research directions, and I would like to deepen my knowledge on the role and ...
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23 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are single-celled organisms capable of learning?

I've read that the amoeba is capable of learning. Since these protists have no nervous system, it's safe to assume that even highly simplified learning mechanisms of the Aplysia are miles off in the ...
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