Open Field Behavior in a Rat: A Computer Simulation/ Naphtali Buderham, Hanan Lifshitz - Sep. 2000

Experiments of rat's open-field exploratory behavior show a consistent pattern of movement around a preferred location defined as a "Homebase". In this paper we describe a computerized model that simulates this type of behavior. The model, developed in the Matlab programming language, consists of 2 main components: an agent, which incorporates internal motivational factors (namely curiosity and security) and memory, and an environment, which contains external representation of the motivations. The results displayed complex explorative behavior similar to the one observed at the lab. Analysis of the results showed that the dynamics of the internal factors were responsible for the agent's Homebase behavior. The model, implemented by a simple and modular algorithm, can serve as an infrastructure for further expansions and experiments.

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