A general framework for understanding the effects of variability and interruptions on foraging behaviour

Acta Biotheoretica 36 (1):3-22 (1987)

Abstract
A general framework for analysing the effects of variability and the effects of interruptions on foraging is presented. The animal is characterised by its level of energetic reserves, x. We consider behaviour over a period of time [0,T]. A terminal reward function R(x) determines the expected future reproductive success of an animal with reserves x at time T. For any state x at a time in the period, we give the animal a choice between various options and then constrain it to follow a background strategy. The best option is the one that maximizes expected future reproductive success. Using this framework, we show that sensitivity to variability in amount of energy gained is logically distinct from sensitivity to variability in the time at which food is obtained. We also show that incorporating interruptions results in both a preference for variability in time and a preference for a reward followed by a delay as opposed to the same delay before the reward.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00159228
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Research on Self-Control: An Integrating Framework.A. W. Logue - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):665-679.
Foraging for Integration.Edmund Fantino & Ray Preston - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):683-684.
Working Toward the Big Reinforcer: Integration.A. W. Logue - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):697-709.
On the Careful Use of Ecological Models.Thomas Caraco - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):680-681.

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