What do foraging problems reveal about choice mechanisms?

  • Datum: 11.01.2019
  • Uhrzeit: 11:15 - 12:30
  • Vortragender: Kevin Lloyd
  • Princeton University
  • Ort: Max Planck House
  • Raum: Lecture Hall
  • Gastgeber: Peter Dayan
What do foraging problems reveal about choice mechanisms?

The importance of considering how behaviour is adapted to natural conditions is a perennial theme in psychology and neuroscience. Recent work in decision neuroscience draws heavily from behavioural ecology in attempting to understand how animals solve choice problems similar to those faced in their natural habitats. One line of research, inspired by optimal foraging theory, has considered how human subjects decide when to abandon a depleting resource in order to discover a new resource, finding that behaviour is consistent with the marginal value theorem (Constantino and Daw, 2015). This raises intriguing questions about the mechanisms involved and their generality. I will describe recent and ongoing work that uses the same task with different clinical populations, notably Parkinson's disease and depression. I will then consider the more general question of whether choice problems that are ostensibly problems of simultaneous choice are treated as such by human subjects, or whether evolutionary and other constraints mean that these are approached in a more sequential manner.

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