orses
dog-and-rabbit-banner
cat-banner
zebra-banner
wolf-banner
cheetah-banner

Glossary

This is sample of the contents of our NAC Glossary of Terms.  It will be published in 2015

Meanwhile we hope these might be helpful in your studies.

Anthropomorphic:  Interpreting animal behaviour from a human perspective

Ethology:    The study of the function of an animals behaviour in its natural environment

Evolution: The development of a species over 60million years to better adapt to its environment

Felidae, Felids:  A zoological term; a family in the order carnivora that contains all the species of cats

Fence running:  A stereotypical behaviour of the dog in which there is repeated running in a set pattern along the fence perimeter

Followership: A principle of leadership in equids and cows whereby an alpha mare leads the herd. For example, when the mare decides it is the right and safe time for the herd to move to a drinking hole, she simply leaves and the rest of the herd follows. It is a passive demonstration of unequivocal, uncontested alpha status

Flooding: A process in which there is continual presentation of a fear eliciting stimulus with no opportunity to escape

Habituation:  The waning of an original response after repeated presentations of a potentially threatening stimulus.  The laws of habituation include: There must be no reinforcement of the fear.  Habituation is context specific.  Habituation must be gradual.  Habituation can be subject to spontaneous recovery.

Homeostasis:  The physiological process by which the internal systems within the body are maintained at equilibrium despite an ever changing external environment.

Negative Reinforcement:  The removal of unpleasant experiences / stimuli following a behaviour, begins to increase the likelyhood of that behaviour being repeated in the future.

Perceptual learning:  An animal’s ability to recognise a stimulus using one of the five senses; sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell as a result of previous exposure to that stimulus.

Positive reinforcement:  Adding something pleasant at the time of a behaviour to increase the behaviour being offered again.

Principle of parsimony:  The principle that the simplest explanation is often the most likely.

Rebound phenomenon:  the increased frequency or intensity of a phenomenon after it has been temporarily suppressed; for example REM sleep after a period of sleep deprivation.

Resource holding potential:  The ability of an individual to hold onto a resource in the presence of another individual.  RHP is always a one to one relationship.

Rogerian counselling: Person-centred therapy where the counsellor provides a certain type of relationship so that the client discovers the capacity within themself to use that relationship for growth, change & personal development.  The client /counsellor relationship is characterised by equality.

Short-term memory: A limited, immediate store for events and facts that may through consolidation become part of long term memory.

Social play:  Play behaviours that involve interactions with other individuals.

Social System:  The social structure of the group/herd and how they interact with each other. Avoidance of aggression is very important to avoid injuries and wasting energy.