I'm really honored
to be doing a Henry Stewart talk.
My name is Temple Grandin.
I am a professor of animal science
at Colorado State University.
And I'm going to be
discussing some of the things
that we discuss in our new
book, Genetics and the Behavior
of Domestic Animals--
the Second Edition.
Just came out really recently.
One of the questions that
people are always asking
is, how much of animal behavior is
nature-- in other words, genetics?
And how much is nurture, which
would be the environment.
There's an age-old question.
How much of behavior is nature, and
how much of behavior is nurture?
And in our book, Genetics and
the Behavior of Domestic Animals,
myself and many
other scientists have
chapters to answer that question.
A lot has been learned about
genetics in the last 10 years.
And the mechanisms are complex.
The old Mendelian genetics
might only explain about 25%
What a lot of people don't
realize is that only 1%
of the entire double helix
actually codes for proteins.
That's what's called the exome.
What does the rest of the genome do?
When I was in graduate school
student back in the '80s,
they used to call it junk DNA.
I never believed in junk DNA.
How could so much of
the genome just be junk?
We know now with the Encode Project
that was just published in 2013,
scientists have learned that a good
part of that other so-called junk
DNA probably is the
genes' operating system.
Something has to tell the coding DNA
when to code for different things,
otherwise you just have
big cancerous blobs.
Maybe there's some junk DNA.
But there's some of
that definitely has
got to be the genes'
Scientists have now learned that
what's just in the genetic code
itself is not everything
that determines inheritance.
There's a process of what's called
epigenentics where the environment
can have some effect on
the expressions of genes.
And there was an old scientist
Lamarck who said that you could
inherit acquired traits, and
everybody looked at Lamarck
like he was absolutely,
Well, there's some things he's
done that have proven to be right.
The genome itself doesn't change.
But whether or not certain
code on the genome can be read
has been changed.
You know how the double helix
looks like a double helix.
Well, you can either twist it
down tight like a tight spring,
and then there's no way you can
read it, or you can untwist it.
There's also a process called
methylation, which are kind
of chemical locks that can
lock out pieces of code.
And these are factors
that can determine
traits that can be inherited.
Another big thing in the whole
nature versus nurture controversy
is how much of an animal's
behavior is innate,
just instinctual-- instinctual
is the old-fashioned word
for innate-- versus
a learned behavior?
Well, when I was studying animal
behavior in the '60s when I was
in college, BF Skinner was the
biggest influence in my country.
And he said, everything
is stimulus response.
And he wrote a famous book
called the behavior of organisms.
And I asked BF Skinner
one time, all we
need is to learn about the brain.
He says, oh, we don't need
to learn about the brain.
We've got operant conditioning.
But I never believed that.
And in the genetics of
behavior of domestic animals
in our first chapter, we talk
about instincts versus learning.
And one Skinner's students, Brelands
and Brelands, they wrote a paper
called The Misbehavior of Organisms.
And it trained animals for carnival
exhibits, things like a raccoon
putting a penny in the piggy
bank, chicken playing the piano.
And they found that instinctual
behavior could override a training.
Raccoons just decided they
were going to wash that coin--
not just put it in
the piggy bank first.
They to wash it first, rub it first.
Chickens found that as soon as the
activity was associated with food,
they just couldn't
Because scratching is a natural
behavior they do for food.
And they are definite
behaviors that are
that are innate.
And one of those behaviors is
egg-retrieval behavior in geese.
The egg gets out of the nest, the
goose will roll the egg back in.
She'll even roll a beer can back in.
And ethologists, they studied animal
behavior in natural conditions.
And when I was in college, I took
a great classical ethology course
from a scientist who was
a reptile specialist.
And they've got lots
of innate behaviors.
So at the same time that Skinner
ruled psychology in America,
I had this ethology professor.
And reptiles, a lot of the
behaviors are fixed-action patterns.
Another example of a fixed-action
pattern is a killing bite in a dog.
Now you see, behaviors
to consume food
tend to be more likely to be a
fixed-action pattern than behaviors
to find food.
Because an animal, when he's
put in different environments,
is going to have to
be flexible or he's
not going to be able to find food.
For example, in bears,
we've got a real problem
with bears getting into garbage.
Bears have learned that they can
just rip the front door of a house
off, and there's delicious
yummies in the refrigerator.
Well, most bears don't
learn that behavior.
It's when they learn it, it's
a really, really big problem.
Now both the ethologists and
the Skinnerian behaviorists,
they avoided the issue of
what motivates behavior.
I can remember when
I took ethology, they
discussed the hydraulic
view of motivation.
Which, I don't know, just seemed
to me like it was kind of BS.
But they didn't want to say,
emotions motivated behavior?