Computational modeling of temporal and sequential dynamics of foraging decisions
© Jung et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Published: 21 July 2014
A fundamental understanding of behavior requires predicting when and what an individual will choose. However, the actual temporal and sequential dynamics of successive choices made among multiple alternatives remain unclear.
In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that there is a general bursting property in both the timing and sequential patterns of foraging decisions. We conducted a foraging experiment in which rats chose among four different foods over a continuous two-week time period. Regarding when choices were made, we found bursts of rapidly occurring actions separated by time-varying inactive periods, partially based on a circadian rhythm.
This study provides insights into how the bursty nature of behavior emerges from the interaction of different underlying systems, leading to heavy tails in the distribution of behavior over time and choices.
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