August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
The FORAGEKID Game: Using Hybrid Foraging to Study Executive Functions and Search Strategies During Development
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Beatriz Gil-Gómez de Liaño
    Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Jeremy M Wolfe
    BWH-Harvard Medical School
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  European Union’s Horizon 2020, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action FORAGEKID 793268 & Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación de España: PID2021-122621OB-I00.
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 4764. doi:
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      Beatriz Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Jeremy M Wolfe; The FORAGEKID Game: Using Hybrid Foraging to Study Executive Functions and Search Strategies During Development. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):4764.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Searching for friends in the park, finding specific Lego blocks for a building project, or looking for recipe ingredients in the fridge; Each of these is a "hybrid search" typical of everyday life. Hybrid search is searching for instances of multiple targets held in memory. Hybrid Foraging (HF) is a continuous version in which observers search for multiple exemplars of those multiple target types. HF draws on a wide array of cognitive functions beyond those studied in classic search and can be used as a "one-stop shop" to study those functions within a single task as they develop and interact over the lifespan. We study cognitive development using our FORAGEKID-HF video game. Observers search through diverse moving real-world toys or simpler colored squares and circles. They are asked to collect targets from a memorized set as quickly as possible while not clicking on distractors. We have tested large samples of children, adolescents, and young adults (4-25 years old) running different versions of FORAGEKID. Foraging rate data can be used to assess the development of selective attention under different memory target-load conditions (here, 2 versus 7 targets). Cognitive flexibility and search strategies can be measured by analyzing switch costs when observers change from collecting one target type to collecting another. The organization of search can be studied by examining target-search paths using different measures; e.g., best-r, inter-target distances, etc. Finally, decision-making processes are illustrated by quitting rules; When do observers choose to move from one screen to a fresh screen? Changes in "travel-costs" (time to move from one screen to the next) impact quitting rules differentially across the lifespan. Here, we show data supporting FORAGEKID as a serious but enjoyable game that can effectively assess and potentially train a range of attentional and executive functions over the lifespan.


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