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Journal ArticleDOI

Foraging across the life span: is there a reduction in exploration with aging?

17 Apr 2013-Frontiers in Neuroscience (Frontiers)-Vol. 7, pp 53-53

TL;DR: Overall, the evidence suggests that foraging behavior may undergo significant changes across the life span across internal and external search, and finds evidence of a trend toward reduced exploration with increased age.

AbstractDoes foraging change across the life span, and in particular, with aging? We report data from two foraging tasks used to investigate age differences in search in external environments as well as internal search in memory. Overall, the evidence suggests that foraging behavior may undergo significant changes across the life span across internal and external search. In particular, we find evidence of a trend towards reduced exploration with increased age. We discuss these findings in light of theories that postulate a link between aging and reductions in novelty seeking and exploratory behavior.

Topics: Foraging (58%)

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
04 Nov 1988-Science

186 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jul 2015
Abstract: Many decisions in the lives of animals and humans require a fine balance between the exploration of different options and the exploitation of their rewards. Do you buy the advertised car, or do you test drive different models? Do you continue feeding from the current patch of flowers, or do you fly off to another one? Do you marry your current partner, or try your luck with someone else? The balance required in these situations is commonly referred to as the exploration– exploitation tradeoff. It features prominently in a wide range of research traditions, including learning, foraging, and decision making literatures. Here, we integrate findings from these and other often-isolated literatures in order to gain a better understand- ing of the possible tradeoffs between exploration and exploitation, and we propose new theoretical insights that might guide future research. Specifically, we explore how potential tradeoffs depend on (a) the conceptualization of exploration and exploitation; (b) the influencing environmental, social, and individual factors; (c) the scale at which exploration and exploitation are considered; (d) the relationship and types of transitions between the 2 behaviors; and (e) the goals of the decision maker. We conclude that exploration and exploitation are best conceptualized as points on a continuum, and that the extent to which an agent’s behavior can be interpreted as exploratory or exploitative depends upon the level of abstraction at which it is considered.

167 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review examines how age-related brain changes influence processes such as attending to and remembering emotional stimuli, regulating emotion, and recognizing emotional expressions, as well as empathy, risk taking, impulsivity, behavior change, and attentional focus.
Abstract: Although aging is associated with clear declines in physical and cognitive processes, emotional functioning fares relatively well. Consistent with this behavioral profile, two core emotional brain regions, the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, show little structural and functional decline in aging, compared with other regions. However, emotional processes depend on interacting systems of neurotransmitters and brain regions that go beyond these structures. This review examines how age-related brain changes influence processes such as attending to and remembering emotional stimuli, regulating emotion, and recognizing emotional expressions, as well as empathy, risk taking, impulsivity, behavior change, and attentional focus.

155 citations


Cites result from "Foraging across the life span: is t..."

  • ...Not much is known yet about how age-related changes in the LC-noradrenaline system might relate to the likelihood of exploring new options versus remaining fixated on current choices, but it is an interesting avenue for future research, especially given findings of less exploratory behavior (Mata et al. 2013) and less information seeking during decision making (Mather 2006) among older than younger adults....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The aim of the review is to promote the view that predators do not simply learn to avoid aposematic prey, but rather make adaptive decisions about both when to gather information about defended prey and when to include them in their diets.
Abstract: The question, "Why should prey advertise their presence to predators using warning coloration?" has been asked for over 150 years. It is now widely acknowledged that defended prey use conspicuous or distinctive colors to advertise their toxicity to would-be predators: a defensive strategy known as aposematism. One of the main approaches to understanding the ecology and evolution of aposematism and mimicry (where species share the same color pattern) has been to study how naive predators learn to associate prey’s visual signals with the noxious effects of their toxins. However, learning to associate a warning signal with a defense is only one aspect of what predators need to do to enable them to make adaptive foraging decisions when faced with aposematic prey and their mimics. The aim of our review is to promote the view that predators do not simply learn to avoid aposematic prey, but rather make adaptive decisions about both when to gather information about defended prey and when to include them in their diets. In doing so, we reveal what surprisingly little we know about what predators learn about aposematic prey and how they use that information when foraging. We highlight how a better understanding of predator cognition could advance theoretical and empirical work in the field.

84 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Foraging is a fundamental behavior, and many types of animals appear to have solved foraging problems using a shared set of mechanisms Perhaps the most common foraging problem is the choice between exploiting a familiar option for a known reward and exploring unfamiliar options for unknown rewards—the so-called explore/exploit trade-off This trade-off has been studied extensively in behavioral ecology and computational neuroscience, but is relatively new to the field of psychiatry Explore/exploit paradigms can offer psychiatry research a new approach to studying motivation, outcome valuation, and effort-related processes, which are disrupted in many mental and emotional disorders In addition, the explore/exploit trade-off encompasses elements of risk-taking and impulsivity—common behaviors in psychiatric disorders—and provides a novel framework for understanding these behaviors within an ecological context Here we explain relevant concepts and some common paradigms used to measure explore/exploit decisions in the laboratory, review clinically relevant research on the neurobiology and neuroanatomy of explore/exploit decision making, and discuss how computational psychiatry can benefit from foraging theory

65 citations


References
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Book
01 Jan 1988
TL;DR: This book provides a clear and simple account of the key ideas and algorithms of reinforcement learning, which ranges from the history of the field's intellectual foundations to the most recent developments and applications.
Abstract: Reinforcement learning, one of the most active research areas in artificial intelligence, is a computational approach to learning whereby an agent tries to maximize the total amount of reward it receives when interacting with a complex, uncertain environment. In Reinforcement Learning, Richard Sutton and Andrew Barto provide a clear and simple account of the key ideas and algorithms of reinforcement learning. Their discussion ranges from the history of the field's intellectual foundations to the most recent developments and applications. The only necessary mathematical background is familiarity with elementary concepts of probability. The book is divided into three parts. Part I defines the reinforcement learning problem in terms of Markov decision processes. Part II provides basic solution methods: dynamic programming, Monte Carlo methods, and temporal-difference learning. Part III presents a unified view of the solution methods and incorporates artificial neural networks, eligibility traces, and planning; the two final chapters present case studies and consider the future of reinforcement learning.

32,257 citations


"Foraging across the life span: is t..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Exploration is an adaptive first step because it allows one to acquire information about the environment that will later lead to successful exploitation (Sutton and Barto, 1998)....

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Book ChapterDOI
Abstract: The analysis of censored failure times is considered. It is assumed that on each individual arc available values of one or more explanatory variables. The hazard function (age-specific failure rate) is taken to be a function of the explanatory variables and unknown regression coefficients multiplied by an arbitrary and unknown function of time. A conditional likelihood is obtained, leading to inferences about the unknown regression coefficients. Some generalizations are outlined.

28,225 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A theory is proposed that increased age in adulthood is associated with a decrease in the speed with which many processing operations can be executed and that this reduction in speed leads to impairments in cognitive functioning because of what are termed the limited time mechanism and the simultaneity mechanism.
Abstract: A theory is proposed to account for some of the age-related differences reported in measures of Type A or fluid cognition. The central hypothesis in the theory is that increased age in adulthood is associated with a decrease in the speed with which many processing operations can be executed and that this reduction in speed leads to impairments in cognitive functioning because of what are termed the limited time mechanism and the simultaneity mechanism. That is, cognitive performance is degraded when processing is slow because relevant operations cannot be successfully executed (limited time) and because the products of early processing may no longer be available when later processing is complete (simultaneity). Several types of evidence, such as the discovery of considerable shared age-related variance across various measures of speed and large attenuation of the age-related influences on cognitive measures after statistical control of measures of speed, are consistent with this theory.

4,773 citations


"Foraging across the life span: is t..." refers background in this paper

  • ...…times have been suggested to capture reliable individual differences in search (Dougherty and Harbison, 2007), any reaction-time based measure poses interpretational problems regarding exploratory tendencies with aging due to overall age differences in motor and cognitive speed (Salthouse, 1996)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The present study used meta-analytic techniques to determine the patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course and showed that people increase in measures of social dominance, conscientiousness, and emotional stability in young adulthood and decrease in both of these domains in old age.
Abstract: The present study used meta-analytic techniques (number of samples = 92) to determine the patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course. Results showed that people increase in measures of social dominance (a facet of extraversion), conscientiousness, and emotional stability, especially in young adulthood (age 20 to 40). In contrast, people increase on measures of social vitality (a 2nd facet of extraversion) and openness in adolescence but then decrease in both of these domains in old age. Agreeableness changed only in old age. Of the 6 trait categories, 4 demonstrated significant change in middle and old age. Gender and attrition had minimal effects on change, whereas longer studies and studies based on younger cohorts showed greater change.

2,528 citations


"Foraging across the life span: is t..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Research on humans suggests that openness and novelty seeking declines over the life span as measured by self-report (Roberts et al., 2006; Lucas and Donnellan, 2011)....

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  • ...But what evidence is there of age differences in novelty seeking and exploratory behavior? Research on humans suggests that openness and novelty seeking declines over the life span as measured by self-report (Roberts et al., 2006; Lucas and Donnellan, 2011)....

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Posted Content
Abstract: We present a psychometric scale that assesses risk taking in five content domains: financial decisions (separately for investing versus gambling), health/safety, recreational, ethical, and social decisions. Respondents rate the likelihood that they would engage in domain-specific risky activities (Part I). An optional Part II assesses respondents’ perceptions of the magnitude of the risks and expected benefits of the activities judged in Part I. The scale’s construct validity and consistency is evaluated for a sample of American undergraduate students. As expected, respondents’ degree of risk taking was highly domain-specific, i.e. not consistently risk-averse or consistently risk-seeking across all content domains. Women appeared to be more risk-averse in all domains except social risk. A regression of risk taking (likelihood of engaging in the risky activity) on expected benefits and perceived risks suggests that gender and content domain differences in apparent risk taking are associated with differences in the perception of the activities’ benefits and risk, rather than with differences in attitude towards perceived risk.

2,079 citations


"Foraging across the life span: is t..." refers background in this paper

  • ...…= 99) completed a number of questionnaire measures that we reasoned could be related to exploratory behavior, including risk-taking in the investment and gambling domain (Weber et al., 2002), maximization tendencies (Schwartz et al., 2002), and future time perspective (Lang and Carstensen, 2002)....

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