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Journal Article

Control over patch encounters changes foraging behaviour

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Dayan,  P
Department of Computational Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hall-McMaster, S., Dayan, P., & Schuck, N. (2021). Control over patch encounters changes foraging behaviour. iScience, Epub ahead. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3770102.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-B9CE-1
Abstract
Foraging is a common decision problem in natural environments. When new exploitable sites are always available, a simple optimal strategy is to leave a current site when its return falls below a single average reward rate. Here, we examined foraging in a more structured environment, with a limited number of sites that replenished at different rates and had to be revisited. When participants could choose sites, they visited fast-replenishing sites more often, left sites at higher levels of reward, and achieved a higher net reward rate. Decisions to exploit-or-leave a site were best explained with a computational model estimating separate reward rates for each site. This suggests option-specific information can be used to construct a threshold for patch leaving in some foraging settings, rather than a single average reward rate.