Sympathetic involvement in time-constrained sequential foraging

Dundon, Neil M., Garrett, Neil ORCID:, Babenko, Viktoriya, Cieslak, Matt, Daw, Nathaniel D. and Grafton, Scott T. (2020) Sympathetic involvement in time-constrained sequential foraging. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 20 (4). pp. 730-745. ISSN 1530-7026

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Appraising sequential offers relative to an unknown future opportunity and a time cost requires an optimization policy that draws on a learned estimate of an environment’s richness. Converging evidence points to a learning asymmetry, whereby estimates of this richness update with a bias toward integrating positive information. We replicate this bias in a sequential foraging (prey selection) task and probe associated activation within the sympathetic branch of the autonomic system, using trial-by-trial measures of simultaneously recorded cardiac autonomic physiology. We reveal a unique adaptive role for the sympathetic branch in learning. It was specifically associated with adaptation to a deteriorating environment: it correlated with both the rate of negative information integration in belief estimates and downward changes in moment-to-moment environmental richness, and was predictive of optimal performance on the task. The findings are consistent with a framework whereby autonomic function supports the learning demands of prey selection.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: decision-making,learning,sequential foraging,sympathetic stress,cognitive neuroscience,behavioral neuroscience ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2800/2805
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2021 01:34
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 03:06
DOI: 10.3758/s13415-020-00799-0


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