Examination: written and oral
Lecturer: Zoltán Barta, dr. (professor)
Aims of the course: During the course we will pursue three objectives. First, we will get some insight on the huge variation in animal behaviour. Second, we will investigate how within individual mechanisms (e.g. physiology, neuroendocrine system or genetics) can generate this behavioural variation. Third, we will study the evolutionary factors shaped this variaton.
Topics of the course: During the course we will deal with the following topics: The definition of behaviour. The basic questions of begavioural biology research. A short history of behavioural biology. The mehanism behind behaviour: controll and decision making, stimuli, motivations. The ontogeny of behaviour: the effects of the genes and the environment. Learning and animal inteligence. The theory of natural selection and the unit of selection. Optimality modelling in behavioural ecology: classical and game theoretical optimalization. Sexual reproduction, sexual selection. Mating systems, parental care. Living in groups, eusociality. The sociobiology of human behaviour.
Alcock J. 2005. Animal behaviour. An evolutionary approach. Sinauer Associates
Bolhuis JJ. & Giraldeau LA. (eds) 2004. The behavior of animals. Mechanism, function and evolution. Blackwell Publishing.
Dawkins R. 1976. The selfish gene. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Ridley M. 2003. Evolution. Backwell Publishing, Third edition. Backwell Publishing.