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acquisition of behavior in many animal species, in which, at a critical period early in life, the animals form strong and lasting attachments. Imprinting is important for normal social development. The term was first used by the zoologist Konrad Lorenz to describe the way in which the social characteristics of greylag geese and other fowl become instilled in their young offspring (see ethologyethology,
study of animal behavior based on the systematic observation, recording, and analysis of how animals function, with special attention to physiological, ecological, and evolutionary aspects.
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). In natural circumstances imprinting, to the mother, food, or surroundings, occurs instinctively during a biologically fixed time span; it is very difficult to extinguish. Under experimental conditions chicks and ducklings readily become imprinted to an appropriate model such as a moving decoy or a human being. Subsequent learning may be tied to and reinforced by the imprinted object, and later social behaviors, such as the greeting ceremony and courtship, may be directed exclusively to the mother-substitute. In fowl, attachment increases with the amount of effort the offspring must exert to follow the imprinted object. The onset of fear in an organism is believed to end the period of imprintability. There is evidence that in fowl the imprinting period begins before hatching and is characterized by vocal communication between mother and unhatched ducklings.



in ethology (the science of animal behavior), a specific form of learning in animals; the fixation in the animal’s memory of the distinctive features of objects at which instinctive behavioral actions are directed. Such objects are the parents (simultaneously serving as bearers of the characteristic traits of the species), siblings (offspring of the same litter), future sexual partners (male or female), food (including prey), and natural enemies (the external appearance of the enemy is imprinted in conjunction with the warning cries of the parents), as well as, possibly, the characteristic traits of the usual place of habitation (birth). The best studied and most noticeable form of imprinting is the following response of newly hatched birds or mammal offspring, whereby they follow their parents or one another. The fixation in imprinting of the distinctive features of objects usually occurs in the early stages of life, most often soon after birth, and is possible only during a definite, limited period—the “sensitive” or “critical” period. As a rule, the result of imprinting cannot be changed in the future (the “irreversibility” of the results of imprinting).

The term “imprinting” in traditional psychology is used in the sense of the fixation of certain information in the memory.


Slonim, A. D. Osnovy obshchei ekologicheskoi fiziologii mlekopitaiushchikh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.
Tinbergen, N. Povedenie zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from English.)
Lorenz, K. Über tierisches und menschliches Verhalten, vols. 1–2. Munich, 1965.
Sluckin, W. Imprinting and Early Learning. Chicago, 1965.



The very rapid development of a response or learning pattern to a stimulus at an early and usually critical period of development; particularly characteristic of some species of birds.
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Starting as a small backyard platemaking business in 1979, Imprinting Systems has demonstrated continuous growth, now currently running three Mark Andy flexo presses plus the Digital One inline digital printing and converting solution.
The substrates (L-Phe or D-Phe used as template during the synthesis of membrane) after removal left imprinting cavities and channels (corresponding to the size and shape of L-Phe or D-Phe).
To gauge the effect off the loss of imprinting control on the maintenance of the quiescent hematopoietic stem cell pool, Venkatraman analyzed the numbers of quiescent, active and differentiated hematopoietic stem cells in mouse bone marrow.
Inkjet printing inline with offset printing delivers a number of significant benefits, including faster job turnaround time, lower costs and higher productivity for high-volume imprinting applications when compared to sheetfed laser printing.
Among the eleven candidate imprinting genes, the physiological functions of seven genes (CALCR, Grb10, HTR2A, KCNK9, MEST, PPP1R9A, and Sgce) are known, but four genes (Kcnq1, OSBPL5, SLC22A18, and UBE3A) are not yet well known in cattle.
As the selectivity of the template to imprinted polymer microspheres for noncovalence imprinting approach strongly depended on the solvent used.
Chromatographic analysis of the MIPs in organic solvents showed a clear imprinting effect for all the polymer systems tested, together with specificity for the lactam antibiotics.
Presently, extensive research is being done to perfect the molecular imprinting techniques.
Imprinting by either mold or cast can occur at any time and needs no author (posthumous casting by foundry workers is commonplace in the history of sculpture).
In many imprinting species, the preferred mates differ from the rearing types in characteristic ways (Bateson 1983).