• Supernormal Stimuli and Responses

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    • Keywords


      Supernormal stimuli, sign stimuli, exaggerated response, Nikolaas Tinbergen, oystercatcher egg size, food-begging in gulls, grayling butterflies, generalization and peak shift, brood parasite.

    • Abstract


      In this article, I describe the curious phenomenon of exaggeratedresponses to supernormal stimuli in animals. These havebeen observed across various taxa and include preferences forlarger egg size, darker or more contrasting colours or, in thecase of humans, preferences for processed foods and televisionamong others. I describe mechanisms that have beenproposed to explain supernormal responses and possible consequencesof such responses.

    • Author Affiliations


      T N C Vidya1

      1. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Jakkur, Bengaluru 560 064, India.
    • Dates


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