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Trends Cogn Sci. 2015 Jan;19(1):46-54. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.10.004. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

Exploration versus exploitation in space, mind, and society.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. Electronic address: t.t.hills@warwick.ac.uk.
2
Cognitive Science Program, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA.
3
Department of Political Science, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; College of Computer and Information Science, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
4
Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
5
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA; Department of Collective Behaviour, Max Planck Institute of Ornithology, Konstanz, Germany.

Abstract

Search is a ubiquitous property of life. Although diverse domains have worked on search problems largely in isolation, recent trends across disciplines indicate that the formal properties of these problems share similar structures and, often, similar solutions. Moreover, internal search (e.g., memory search) shows similar characteristics to external search (e.g., spatial foraging), including shared neural mechanisms consistent with a common evolutionary origin across species. Search problems and their solutions also scale from individuals to societies, underlying and constraining problem solving, memory, information search, and scientific and cultural innovation. In summary, search represents a core feature of cognition, with a vast influence on its evolution and processes across contexts and requiring input from multiple domains to understand its implications and scope.

PMID:
25487706
PMCID:
PMC4410143
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2014.10.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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