Imprinting - This is a specific form of education, instant subcortical training. From eng. "Imprinting" - "imprinting" is a psycho-physiological mechanism, when the image is firmly fixed and formed in a certain, critical period, is almost completely automatic, not reversible and does not require any primary or further positive reinforcement. The objects are usually the parent individuals, siblings, food objects, natural enemies. In the animal environment serves as a survival mechanism. Some images, including natural enemies, actions are not innate, genetically inherited and the mechanism of imprinting provides instant learning or recognition.
A well-known example of iprinting is the perception by goslings of the first moving object seen after hatching as a mother, due to the fact that geese do not have innate recognition of their own, for example, by smell, therefore capturing the first object assumes this function. At the same time, goslings do not distinguish living objects and artificial models, the only required characteristic is motion. The critical moment of perception - imprint vulnerability (in the case of goslings, immediately after birth) and the required characteristic, which may be the only (in the example - movement) ensure the appearance of imprinting. However, all other characteristics and the situation do not matter, i.e. goslings will succumb to the mechanism both in captivity and in the field, for example.
There is a theory that suggests that there is a congenital sealing mechanism that responds to a stimulus specific to a given species. There is also the concept of "genomic imprinting" - a variant of the inheritance of genes, when DNA - the basic structure of a gene - does not change.