Animal Behaviour

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Tristram D. Wyatt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198712154
Category: Science
Page: 146
View: 8842

Continue Reading →

Animal behaviour is a central topic of zoology, and with the development of ideas concerning the role of genes as well as environment the subject has been transformed. Tristram Wyatt gives a modern view, including a sense of the power of gene knock-outs, computing and image analysis to enable detailed experiments and observations of behaviour.

Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction


Author: David DeGrazia
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780192853608
Category: Nature
Page: 131
View: 4673

Continue Reading →

Do animals have moral rights? If so what does this mean? What sorts of mental lives do animals have, and how should we understand their welfare? This fascinating introduction to the rights of animals addresses these perplexing questions, and explores their implications in contexts such as food consumption, zoos, and research.

The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Peter Holland
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199593213
Category: Science
Page: 126
View: 1750

Continue Reading →

Molecular biology has revolutionized our understanding of animals and their evolution. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Holland provides an authoritative summary of the modern view of animal life, its origins, and the new classification resulting from DNA studies.

Evolution: a Very Short Introduction


Author: Brian Charlesworth,Deborah Charlesworth
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198804369
Category:
Page: 160
View: 9004

Continue Reading →

Less than 450 years ago, all European scholars believed that the Earth was at the centre of a Universe that was at most a few million miles in extent, and that the planets, sun, and stars all rotated around this centre. Less than 250 years ago, they believed that the Universe was createdessentially in its present state about 6000 years ago. Even less than 150 years ago, the view that living species were the result of special creation by God was still dominant. The recognition by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace of the mechanism of evolution by natural selection hascompletely transformed our understanding of the living world, including our own origins. In this Very Short Introduction Brian and Deborah Charlesworth provide a clear and concise summary of the process of evolution by natural selection, and how natural selection gives rise to adaptations and eventually, over many generations, to new species. They introduce the central concepts of thefield of evolutionary biology, as they have developed since Darwin and Wallace on the subject, over 140 years ago, and discuss some of the remaining questions regarding processes. They highlight the wide range of evidence for evolution, and the importance of an evolutionary understanding forinstance in combating the rapid evolution of resistance by bacteria to antibiotics and of HIV to antiviral drugs. This reissue includes some key updates to the main text and a completely updated Further Reading section.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Animal Behavior

A Beginner's Guide
Author: John Byers
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780742614
Category: Science
Page: 192
View: 8302

Continue Reading →

Why do birds have regional accents? Can horses learn math? What do animals without eyes see? Questions such as these have fascinated scientists and animal lovers alike long before ethology — the study of animal behavior — became recognized as a science in the 1970s. Now, as issues of conservation and welfare dominate the field, an understanding of how and why animals act the way they do has become even more critical. Communicating the passion of the scientists who have driven the discipline, John Byers draws together evolutionary theory, ecology, population biology, genetics, physiology, and anatomy to demonstrate the diversity involved when studying animals. By explaining the mechanisms and motivations behind a range of animal movements he illuminates key issues about our own behavior while equipping readers with the core knowledge and skills to further their own studies.

Darwin: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Jonathan Howard
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192854542
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 125
View: 4313

Continue Reading →

Arguments still rage about the implications of the evolutionary theory, and scepticism about Darwin's contribution to knowledge is widespread. This accessible study reasserts the importance of Darwin's work for the development of modern biology.

Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Sebastian G. B. Amyes
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191654086
Category: Medical
Page: 144
View: 2419

Continue Reading →

Bacteria form a fundamental branch of life. They are the oldest forms of life as we know it, and they are still the most prolific living organisms. They inhabit every part of the Earth's surface, its ocean depths, and even terrains such as boiling hot springs. They are most familiar as agents of disease, but benign bacteria are critical to the recycling of elements and all ecology, as well as to human health. In this Very Short Introduction, Sebastian Amyes explores the nature of bacteria, their origin and evolution, bacteria in the environment, and bacteria and disease. In looking at our efforts to manage co-evolving bacteria, he also considers the challenges of resistance to antibiotics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Veterinary Science: A Very Short Introduction


Author: James Yeates
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192508407
Category: Medical
Page: 144
View: 8424

Continue Reading →

Every year billions of animals, from housecats to racehorses to pythons, are treated by veterinarians. The use of veterinary science to treat the health of animals has a long history; for the past five centuries it has developed as our understanding of animals' fundamental biology, pathology, and pharmacology has grown. Rapid global changes expected in the twenty-first century will require the profession to respond proactively, embracing new challenges and opportunities. James Yeates, Chief Veterinary Officer of the RSPCA, introduces the field of veterinary science, covering the history of its scientific and clinical aspects from early practices to recent challenges such as the outbreak of BSE and antibiotic resistance, and considering the differences between human medicine and veterinary medicine. Analysing the key roles played by diagnosis, treatment, and prevention with regard to the health of farm animals and pets, he relates this to wider aspects concerning public health, such as zoonoses (diseases that jump from animals to humans). Yeates also covers recent 'One Health' approaches involving the health of both humans and animals, seen as synergistic, and discusses the challenges for the future of veterinary medicine, including the ethical dilemmas in balancing the interests of owners and animals when they do not coincide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Learning


Author: Mark Haselgrove
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199688362
Category: Psychology
Page: 144
View: 4529

Continue Reading →

What is learning? How does it take place? What happens when it goes wrong? The topic of learning has been central to the development of the science of psychology since its inception. Without learning there can be no memory, no language and no intelligence. Indeed it is rather difficult to imagine a part of psychology, or neuroscience, that learning does not touch upon. In this Very Short Introduction Mark Haselgrove describes learning from the perspective of associative theories of classical and instrumental conditioning, and considers why these are the dominant, and best described analyses of learning in contemporary psychology. Tracing the origins of these theories, he discusses the techniques used to study learning in both animals and humans, and considers the importance of learning for animal behaviour and survival. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Richard J. Crisp
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191024783
Category: Psychology
Page: 144
View: 9538

Continue Reading →

Social psychology is about the people who populate our everyday lives, and how they affect our 'personal universe', defining who we are, and shaping our behaviour, beliefs, attitudes, and ideology. In an age where we've mapped the human genome and explored much of the physical world, the study of people's behaviour is one of the most exciting frontiers of scientific endeavor. In this Very Short Introduction Richard Crisp tells the story of social psychology, its history, concepts and major theories. Discussing the classic studies that have defined the discipline, Crisp introduces social psychology's key thinkers, and shows how their personal histories spurred them to understand what connects people to people, and the societies in which we live. Taking us from the first ideas of the discipline to its most cutting edge developments, Crisp demonstrates how social psychology remains profoundly relevant to everyday life. From attitudes to attraction, prejudice to persuasion, health to happiness - social psychology provides insights that can change the world, and help us tackle the defining problems of the 21st century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Perception: a Very Short Introduction


Author: Brian J. Rogers,Brian Rogers
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198791003
Category:
Page: 184
View: 8660

Continue Reading →

Perception is one of the oldest and most deeply investigated topics in the field of psychology, and it also raises some profound philosophical questions. It is concerned with how we use the information reaching our senses to guide and control our behavior as well as to create our particular, subjective experiences of the surrounding world. In this Very Short Introduction, Brian J. Rogers discusses the philosophical question of what it means to perceive, as well as describing how we are able to perceive the particular characteristics of objects and scenes such as their lightness, color, form, depth, and motion. What we perceive, however, does not always correspond to what exists in the world and, as Rogers shows, the study of illusions can be useful in telling us something about the nature and limitations of our perceptual processes. Rogers also explores perception from an evolutionary perspective, explaining how evolutionary pressures have shaped the perceptual systems of humans and other animals. He shows that perception is not necessarily a separate and independent process but rather part of a "perceptual system," involving both the extraction of perceptual information and the control of action. Rogers goes on to cover the significant progress made recently in the understanding of perception through the use of precise and controlled psychophysical methods, single cell recordings, and imaging techniques. There have also been many insights from attempts to model perceptual processes in artificial systems. As Rogers shows, these attempts have revealed how difficult it is to program machines to perform even the most simple of perceptual tasks that we take for granted. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Free Will: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Thomas Pink
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192853589
Category: Philosophy
Page: 132
View: 1680

Continue Reading →

Every day we seem to make and act upon all kinds of free choices - but are these choices really free? Or are we compelled to act the way we do by factors beyond our control? This book looks at free will.

Economics: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Partha Dasgupta
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191578281
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 192
View: 1730

Continue Reading →

Economics has the capacity to offer us deep insights into some of the most formidable problems of life, and offer solutions to them too. Combining a global approach with examples from everyday life, Partha Dasgupta describes the lives of two children who live very different lives in different parts of the world: in the Mid-West USA and in Ethiopia. He compares the obstacles facing them, and the processes that shape their lives, their families, and their futures. He shows how economics uncovers these processes, finds explanations for them, and how it forms policies and solutions. Along the way, Dasgupta provides an intelligent and accessible introduction to key economic factors and concepts such as individual choices, national policies, efficiency, equity, development, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Ken Binmore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199218463
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 184
View: 4230

Continue Reading →

Games are everywhere: Drivers maneuvering in heavy traffic are playing a driving game. Bargain hunters bidding on eBay are playing an auctioning game. The supermarket's price for corn flakes is decided by playing an economic game. This Very Short Introduction offers a succinct tour of the fascinating world of game theory, a ground-breaking field that analyzes how to play games in a rational way. Ken Binmore, a renowned game theorist, explains the theory in a way that is both entertaining and non-mathematical yet also deeply insightful, revealing how game theory can shed light on everything from social gatherings, to ethical decision-making, to successful card-playing strategies, to calculating the sex ratio among bees. With mini-biographies of many fascinating, and occasionally eccentric, founders of the subject--including John Nash, subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind--this book offers a concise overview of a cutting-edge field that has seen spectacular successes in evolutionary biology and economics, and is beginning to revolutionize other disciplines from psychology to political science. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given topic. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how it has developed and influenced society. Whatever the area of study, whatever the topic that fascinates the reader, the series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Chaos: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Leonard Smith
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191579432
Category: Science
Page: 200
View: 5057

Continue Reading →

Chaos exists in systems all around us. Even the simplest system of cause and effect can be subject to chaos, denying us accurate predictions of its behaviour, and sometimes giving rise to astonishing structures of large-scale order. Our growing understanding of Chaos Theory is having fascinating applications in the real world - from technology to global warming, politics, human behaviour, and even gambling on the stock market. Leonard Smith shows that we all have an intuitive understanding of chaotic systems. He uses accessible maths and physics (replacing complex equations with simple examples like pendulums, railway lines, and tossing coins) to explain the theory, and points to numerous examples in philosophy and literature (Edgar Allen Poe, Chang-Tzu, Arthur Conan Doyle) that illuminate the problems. The beauty of fractal patterns and their relation to chaos, as well as the history of chaos, and its uses in the real world and implications for the philosophy of science are all discussed in this Very Short Introduction. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Risk: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Baruch Fischhoff,John Kadvany
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199576203
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 162
View: 2731

Continue Reading →

Risks are everywhere. They come from many sources, including crime, diseases, accidents, terror, climate change, finance, and intimacy. They arise from our own acts and they are imposed on us. In this Very Short Introduction Fischhoff and Kadvany draw on both the sciences and humanities to show what all risks have in common. Do we care about losing money, health, reputation, or peace of mind? How much do we care about things happening now or in the future? To ourselves or to others? All risks require thinking hard about what matters to us before we make decisions about them based on past experience, scientific knowledge, and future uncertainties. Using conceptual frameworks such as decision theory and behavioural decision research, we examine the science and practice of creating measures of risk and look at how scientists apply probability by combining historical records, scientific theories, and expert judgement. Showing what science has learned about how people deal with risks, and applying these to diverse everyday examples, the authors demonstrate how we move from understanding a risk to making a choice in everyday life.

Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Bernard Wood
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192803603
Category: Science
Page: 131
View: 6306

Continue Reading →

This introduction traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the 18th century to the latest fossil finds. It concentrates on the fossil evidence for human evolution, making reference to the relevant archaeological evidence when appropriate.

Hormones

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Martin Luck
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISBN: 0199672873
Category: Science
Page: 136
View: 2504

Continue Reading →

Hormones are vital to the workings of the body, and while many people are aware of what hormones do, few have an appreciation of the nature and importance of the endocrine system. In this very short introduction, Martin Luck explains what hormones are, what they do, where they come from, and how they work.

Measuring Behaviour

An Introductory Guide
Author: Paul Martin,Patrick Bateson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139643754
Category: Science
Page: N.A
View: 9620

Continue Reading →

Measuring Behaviour has established itself as a standard text. Largely rewritten, updated and reorganised, this third edition is, as before, a guide to the principles and methods of quantitative studies of behaviour, with an emphasis on techniques of observation, recording and analysis. It provides the basic knowledge needed to measure behaviour, doing so in a succinct and easily understood form. The sections on research design and the interpretation and presentation of data have been greatly expanded. Written with brevity and clarity, Measuring Behaviour is, above all, a practical guide book. Aimed primarily at undergraduate and graduate students in biology and psychology who are about to embark upon quantitative studies of animal and human behaviour, this book provides a concise review of methodology that will be of great value to scientists of all disciplines in which behaviour is measured, including biological anthropology, the social sciences and medicine.

Ethnomusicology: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Timothy Rice
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199794375
Category: Music
Page: 151
View: 8881

Continue Reading →

Ethnomusicology, an academic discipline founded in 1950, has been defined as the study of the music of others. This definition, at once whimsical and very nearly true, is incomplete. Many of its strongest threads have emerged because a person or a people have wanted to understand themselves, their history, and their identity.