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a rapid kind of learning of certain species-specific behavior patterns that occurs with exposure to the proper stimulus at a critical stage of early life.
A particular kind of learning characterized by its occurrence in the first few hours of life; determines species-recognition behavior.
imprinting/im·print·ing/ (im´print-ing) a species-specific, rapid kind of learning during a critical period of early life in which social attachment and identification are established.
Etymology: Fr, empreindre, to impress
(in ethology) a special type of learning that occurs at critical points during the early stages of development in animals. It involves behavioral patterning and social attachment, is characterized by rapid acquisition and irreversibility, and is usually species-specific, although animals exposed to members of a different species during this short period may become attached to and identify with that particular species instead of their own. The degree to which imprinting occurs in human development has not been determined. See also bonding.
imprintingMolecular biology The variable phenotypic expression of a gene, depending on paternal or maternal origin, a function of the methylation pattern; imprinted regions are more methylated and less transcriptionally active; the 'imprints' are erased and generated in early embryonic development of mammals Examples Insulin-like growth factor-2 and its receptor, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Angelmann/happy puppet syndrome, Wilms' tumor. See Allele, Gene, Genomic imprinting, Inheritance, Locus Psychology Developmental learning restricted to certain early, critical or sensitive time periods of life, which stops when definitive learning occurs or when a critical period has passed; it is irreversible and characteristic of the species of organism being imprinted. See Critical period.
A particular kind of learning characterized by its occurrence in the first few hours of life, which determines species-recognition behavior.
1. The rapid early development in young animals of recognition of the ability to recognize and to be attracted to others of their own species or to similar surrogates.
2. In genetics, changes that occur in a gene in passing through the egg or the sperm so that maternal and paternal alleles differ at the start of embryonic life.
- an aspect of learning where there is the rapid development of a response to a particular stimulus at an early stage of development. Young animals ‘recognize’ the first object they see as a mother figure, and they can be ‘imprinted’ by objects other than members of their own species. For example, Konrad LORENZ ‘imprinted’ himself as a mother figure on young greylag geese. Imprinting also occurs in other areas of experience, for example, bird song, where young, inexperienced birds have adult calls ‘imprinted’ on them.
- see GENOMIC IMPRINTING.
Process that silences a gene or group of genes. The genes are silenced depending on if they are inherited through the egg or the sperm.
Mentioned in: Prader-Willi Syndrome
a kind of learning in the very young based mainly on maternal attachment and acquisition of basic behavior patterns.