Computational, Neuroscientific, and Lifespan Perspectives on the Exploration-Exploitation Dilemma


Consider the following real-life decisions that we make: deciding which route to take home to minimize time spent traveling, choosing amongst a set of known restaurants or a new restaurant when dining out, deciding between reading a new book by a consistently good author versus an author whose books vary widely in quality. All of these decisions involve balancing the conflicting demands of exploiting previous knowledge in order maximize payoffs versus exploring less-known options in order to gain information about the currently optimal course of action. The goal of the proposed symposium is to bring together researchers from a variety of perspectives who are working to better understand the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying exploratory choice.

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