The hippocampus and exploration: Dynamically evolving behavior and neural representations

Adam Johnson, Zachary Varberg, James Benhardus, Anthony Maahs, Paul Schrater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop a normative statistical approach to exploratory behavior called information foraging. Information foraging highlights the specific processes that contribute to active, rather than passive, exploration and learning. We hypothesize that the hippocampus plays a critical role in active exploration through directed information foraging by supporting a set of processes that allow an individual to determine where to sample. By examining these processes, we show how information directed information foraging provides a formal theoretical explanation for the common hippocampal substrates of constructive memory, vicarious trial and error behavior, schema-based facilitation of memory performance, and memory consolidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberJULY
StatePublished - Jul 25 2012


  • Hippocampus
  • Information foraging
  • Memory
  • Memory consolidation
  • Place cell
  • Recollection
  • Statistical learning
  • Vicarious trial and error


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