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Exploration versus exploitation in space, mind, and society

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Melissa BatesonORCiD


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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hills TT, Todd PM, Lazer D, Redish AD, Couzin ID, Bateson M, Cools R, Dukas R, Giraldeau L-A, Macy MW, Page SE, Shiffrin RM, Stephens DW, Wolfe JW

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Year: 2015

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Pages: 46-54

Online publication date: 03/12/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 1364-6613

ISSN (electronic): 1879-307X

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.10.004