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Plasticity in the development of animal personality

Slingerland, J. (2012) Plasticity in the development of animal personality. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Animal personality is a well studied topic in behavioral biology, but most studies have focused only on either the proximate causation or the ultimate function of personality. Within the proximate focus, the development of personality has until recently been mostly neglected. In this thesis I review the evidence concerning the degree of plasticity in the development of personality. I answer the question how animal personalities develop by reviewing both the ultimate and proximate causes of the development of personality. I conclude that personality is shaped by gene-environment interactions during the sensitive periods in the ontogeny. There are still many questions about how the genetics exactly contributes in this interaction. The environmental conditions affect the development of personality most likely through epigenetic changes. The most important environmental factors are the parents. They have great influence on the environment and on the offspring’s perception of the environment. This influence depends on the environment during the parents’ life and on their personalities. Therefore I conclude that the development of the personality of an individual already indirectly starts during the life of its parents.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:50
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:50

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