Document Detail

Human foraging behavior in a virtual environment.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15376803     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We have developed an experimental platform that allows a large number of human participants to interact in real time within a common virtual world. Within this environment, human participants foraged for resources distributed in two spatially separated pools. In addition to varying the relative replenishment rate for the two pools (50-50, 65-35, or 80-20), we manipulated whether the participants could see each other and the entire resource distribution or had their vision restricted to resources at their own location. Two empirical deviations from an optimal distribution of the participants were found. First, the participants were more scattered within a resource pool than the resources were themselves. Second, there was systematic underutilization of the richer pool. For example, the participants distributed themselves 73% and 27% to resource pools that had replenishment rates of 80% and 20%, respectively. In addition, there were oscillations in the harvesting rate of the pools across time, revealed by a Fourier analysis with prominent power near 50 sec per cycle. The suboptimalities and oscillations were more apparent when the locations of the participants and the food were not visible. Individual participant knowledge thus affects the efficiency with which a population of participants harvests resources.
Robert L Goldstone; Benjamin C Ashpole
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychonomic bulletin & review     Volume:  11     ISSN:  1069-9384     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychon Bull Rev     Publication Date:  2004 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-09-20     Completed Date:  2004-12-14     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9502924     Medline TA:  Psychon Bull Rev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  508-14     Citation Subset:  IM    
Psychology Department, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Feeding Behavior*
Models, Statistical
User-Computer Interface*
Visual Perception
Grant Support

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