Bursts and Heavy Tails in Temporal and Sequential Dynamics of Foraging Decisions

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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. Regarding what was chosen, we found sequential dynamics in affective choices characterized by two key features: (a) a highly biased choice distribution; and (b) preferential attachment, in which the animals were more likely to choose what they had previously chosen. To capture the temporal dynamics, we propose a dual-state model consisting of active and inactive states. We also introduce a satiation-attainment process for bursty activity, and a non-homogeneous Poisson process for longer inactivity between bursts. For the sequential dynamics, we propose a dual-control model consisting of goal-directed and habit systems, based on outcome valuation and choice history, respectively. 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.
Publisher
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Issue Date
2014-08
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

SELF-ORGANIZED CRITICALITY; FEEDING-BEHAVIOR; MATCHING LAW; MOTIVATIONAL CONTROL; PREFRONTAL CORTEX; ACTION SELECTION; HUMAN STRIATUM; REWARD; REINFORCEMENT; PATTERNS

Citation

PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, v.10, no.8, pp. e1003759

ISSN
1553-734X
DOI
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003759
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/192691
Appears in Collection
BiS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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