Cognitive Science 39 (8):1925-1939 (2015)

Recent studies of semantic memory have investigated two theories of optimal search adopted from the animal foraging literature: Lévy flights and marginal value theorem. Each theory makes different simplifying assumptions and addresses different findings in search behaviors. In this study, an experiment is conducted to test whether clustering in semantic memory may play a role in evidence for both theories. Labeled magnets and a whiteboard were used to elicit spatial representations of semantic knowledge about animals. Category recall sequences from a separate experiment were used to trace search paths over the spatial representations of animal knowledge. Results showed that spatial distances between animal names arranged on the whiteboard were correlated with inter-response intervals during category recall, and distributions of both dependent measures approximated inverse power laws associated with Lévy flights. In addition, IRIs were relatively shorter when paths first entered animal clusters, and longer when they exited clusters, which is consistent with marginal value theorem. In conclusion, area-restricted searches over clustered semantic spaces may account for two different patterns of results interpreted as supporting two different theories of optimal memory foraging
Keywords Marginal value theorem  Foraging  Category recall  Lévy flights
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/cogs.12249
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,231
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Features of Similarity.Amos Tversky - 1977 - Psychological Review 84 (4):327-352.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Semantic Search in the Remote Associates Test.Eddy J. Davelaar - 2015 - Topics in Cognitive Science 7 (3):494-512.
Semantic Coding and Short-Term Memory.A. D. Baddeley & Betty A. Levy - 1971 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 89 (1):132.
Semantic and Acoustic Information in Primary Memory.Fergus I. Craik & Betty A. Levy - 1970 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 86 (1):77.
Précis of Elements of Episodic Memory.Endel Tulving - 1984 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7 (2):223.


Added to PP index

Total views
12 ( #812,474 of 2,518,151 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,577 of 2,518,151 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes