Winter is coming: How humans forage in a temporally structured environment

Daryl Fougnie, Sarah M. Cormiea, Jinxia Zhang, George A. Alvarez, Jeremy M. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Much is known about visual search for single targets, but relatively little about how participants "forage" for multiple targets. One important question is how long participants will search before moving to a new display. Evidence suggests that participants should leave when intake drops below the average rate ("optimal foraging," Charnov, 1976). However, the real world has temporal structure (e.g., seasons) that could influence behavior. Does it matter if winter is coming and the next display will be worse than the last? We gave participants a series of search displays and asked them to collect targets as fast as possible. Target density was structured-rising and falling systematically across trials. We measured the duration for which participants foraged in each display (trials were terminated by participants). Foraging behavior was affected by temporal structure-counter to a simple optimal foraging account, observers searched displays longer when quality was falling compared to rising (Experiments 1 and 2). Additionally, we found that temporal structure altered explicit predictions about display quality (Experiment 2). These results demonstrate that foraging theories need to consider richer models of observers' representations of the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

Accidental Falls

Keywords

  • Foraging
  • Hysteresis
  • Temporal structure
  • Visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

Cite this

Winter is coming : How humans forage in a temporally structured environment. / Fougnie, Daryl; Cormiea, Sarah M.; Zhang, Jinxia; Alvarez, George A.; Wolfe, Jeremy M.

In: Journal of Vision, Vol. 15, No. 11, 1, 01.01.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fougnie, Daryl ; Cormiea, Sarah M. ; Zhang, Jinxia ; Alvarez, George A. ; Wolfe, Jeremy M. / Winter is coming : How humans forage in a temporally structured environment. In: Journal of Vision. 2015 ; Vol. 15, No. 11.
@article{5b73e79b5af1497d8e83a1e0339b0504,
title = "Winter is coming: How humans forage in a temporally structured environment",
abstract = "Much is known about visual search for single targets, but relatively little about how participants {"}forage{"} for multiple targets. One important question is how long participants will search before moving to a new display. Evidence suggests that participants should leave when intake drops below the average rate ({"}optimal foraging,{"} Charnov, 1976). However, the real world has temporal structure (e.g., seasons) that could influence behavior. Does it matter if winter is coming and the next display will be worse than the last? We gave participants a series of search displays and asked them to collect targets as fast as possible. Target density was structured-rising and falling systematically across trials. We measured the duration for which participants foraged in each display (trials were terminated by participants). Foraging behavior was affected by temporal structure-counter to a simple optimal foraging account, observers searched displays longer when quality was falling compared to rising (Experiments 1 and 2). Additionally, we found that temporal structure altered explicit predictions about display quality (Experiment 2). These results demonstrate that foraging theories need to consider richer models of observers' representations of the world.",
keywords = "Foraging, Hysteresis, Temporal structure, Visual search",
author = "Daryl Fougnie and Cormiea, {Sarah M.} and Jinxia Zhang and Alvarez, {George A.} and Wolfe, {Jeremy M.}",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1167/15.11.1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
journal = "Journal of Vision",
issn = "1534-7362",
publisher = "Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Inc.",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Winter is coming

T2 - How humans forage in a temporally structured environment

AU - Fougnie, Daryl

AU - Cormiea, Sarah M.

AU - Zhang, Jinxia

AU - Alvarez, George A.

AU - Wolfe, Jeremy M.

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - Much is known about visual search for single targets, but relatively little about how participants "forage" for multiple targets. One important question is how long participants will search before moving to a new display. Evidence suggests that participants should leave when intake drops below the average rate ("optimal foraging," Charnov, 1976). However, the real world has temporal structure (e.g., seasons) that could influence behavior. Does it matter if winter is coming and the next display will be worse than the last? We gave participants a series of search displays and asked them to collect targets as fast as possible. Target density was structured-rising and falling systematically across trials. We measured the duration for which participants foraged in each display (trials were terminated by participants). Foraging behavior was affected by temporal structure-counter to a simple optimal foraging account, observers searched displays longer when quality was falling compared to rising (Experiments 1 and 2). Additionally, we found that temporal structure altered explicit predictions about display quality (Experiment 2). These results demonstrate that foraging theories need to consider richer models of observers' representations of the world.

AB - Much is known about visual search for single targets, but relatively little about how participants "forage" for multiple targets. One important question is how long participants will search before moving to a new display. Evidence suggests that participants should leave when intake drops below the average rate ("optimal foraging," Charnov, 1976). However, the real world has temporal structure (e.g., seasons) that could influence behavior. Does it matter if winter is coming and the next display will be worse than the last? We gave participants a series of search displays and asked them to collect targets as fast as possible. Target density was structured-rising and falling systematically across trials. We measured the duration for which participants foraged in each display (trials were terminated by participants). Foraging behavior was affected by temporal structure-counter to a simple optimal foraging account, observers searched displays longer when quality was falling compared to rising (Experiments 1 and 2). Additionally, we found that temporal structure altered explicit predictions about display quality (Experiment 2). These results demonstrate that foraging theories need to consider richer models of observers' representations of the world.

KW - Foraging

KW - Hysteresis

KW - Temporal structure

KW - Visual search

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84942245665&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84942245665&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1167/15.11.1

DO - 10.1167/15.11.1

M3 - Article

C2 - 26237297

AN - SCOPUS:84942245665

VL - 15

JO - Journal of Vision

JF - Journal of Vision

SN - 1534-7362

IS - 11

M1 - 1

ER -