A Bayesian model of navigation in squirrels

Anna Waisman, Christopher G. Lucas, Thomas L. Griffiths, Lucia Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Fox squirrels have an impressive ability to remember the location of stored food. In doing so, they combine information from landmarks of different types. We define a Bayesian model that indicates how an ideal observer would optimally integrate landmark cues, and fit this model to the decisions made by squirrels in a spatial memory task. The resulting model provides a unifying framework for characterizing different strategies to cue integration, and a tool for investigating the circumstances under which particular cues are used. We show that the best fitting models changed depending on the season at testing and the details of the task. These analyses support previous claims that squirrels adopt flexible strategies in landmark use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2011, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, July 20-23, 2011
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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