Search by Rule

Another strategy for finding hidden food stores is to have rules by which they are cached and then to use those rules as clues in a retrieval search. For example, food may always be cached under rocks. The caching animal would then know to look under rocks for food, even if it hadn't remembered locations of the food. Probably all cache retrieval involves search-by-rule at some level; "reasonable" (in the animal's view) cache locations are considered when looking for a cached item while "unreasonable" locations needn't be bothered with in the search. The role of search-by-rule in discovery of cached items is difficult to quantify, however, and it is simply a factor that should be considered in design of cache retrieval experiments.

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copyright ©2001 Michael D. Breed, all rights reserved