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  • Titill er á ensku Development of feature and conjunction foraging: Role of working memory, self-regulation and age
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Foraging behavior has traditionally been studied in animals, either in the laboratory or in the wild. Studies have shown that when animals and humans have two or more target categories to select from and the categories are distinct and easily discrimanable from the environment and non target stimuli, then animals and humans will select from the two target categories at random , or rather, they pick the target closest to their focus of attention, regardless of which target category it belongs. If, on the other hand, the target categories are ambiguous or hard to detect, then predators and humans will select from the same target category exclusively until it is exhausted before selecting a target from the other target categories. This repeated selection of a target in the same category is called a run. By manipulating the difficulty of a foraging task using human observers Kristjánsson et al. (2014) observed similar patterns of long runs for a difficult conjunction foraging task but surprisingly, if the task was an easy feature foraging task observers tended to switch randomly between target types. The authors speculated whether this is due to attentional load or other factors. In this experiment we examine the role of working memory in this process as several models and experiments have shown the importance of working memory in visual search performance. The participants were children between the age of 4 and 7 years old. The results showed that run pattern for the childrens differ significantly from that of the adults and that working memory, as measured in this experiment did not affect the run behaviour. An interesting finding is that the older the children in tis study were, the further away their pattern was from the adult pattern. Possible explainations, implications and direction of further research are discussed.

  • 15.6.2015

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