Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2012 Apr 6;336(6077):95-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1216930.

Neural mechanisms of foraging.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK. nils.kolling@psy.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Behavioral economic studies involving limited numbers of choices have provided key insights into neural decision-making mechanisms. By contrast, animals' foraging choices arise in the context of sequences of encounters with prey or food. On each encounter, the animal chooses whether to engage or, if the environment is sufficiently rich, to search elsewhere. The cost of foraging is also critical. We demonstrate that humans can alternate between two modes of choice, comparative decision-making and foraging, depending on distinct neural mechanisms in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) using distinct reference frames; in ACC, choice variables are represented in invariant reference to foraging or searching for alternatives. Whereas vmPFC encodes values of specific well-defined options, ACC encodes the average value of the foraging environment and cost of foraging.

PMID:
22491854
PMCID:
PMC3440844
DOI:
10.1126/science.1216930
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center