latent learning

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A form of learning in which there is apparently no immediate reward for the animal, and what is learnt remains ‘latent’. The prime example is an animal exploring its surroundings. Learning about the geography of its home area may bring an animal no immediate benefits, but can prove vital in the future when fleeing a predator or searching for food. Many insects learn the details of landmarks near their nest by making orientation flights. This process enables them to locate the nest when returning from distant sites.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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