Different kinds of spatial exploration strategies
A good reference that summarizes the different kinds of spatial exploration strategies: Kallai, J., Makany, T., Karadi, K., & Jacobs, W. J. (2004). Spatial orientation strategies in Morris-type virtual water task for humans Behavioural Brain Research.Some excerpts I found relevant for my purpose:
The concept of spatial strategy varies in the research literature. The term “strategy” causes this confusion, as it refers to sets of strategies applied to specific behavioural situations. The most classic way in which psychology investigates the structure of behaviour is to observe performance across many situations and attempt to determine the possible commonalities of performance. Analysing the trajectories (search strategies) of rats during the completion of spatial tasks, for example, and describing the most common of these strategies is a simple and effective way to uncover invariance in exploration. (...) every goal-directed spatial action might be interpreted as spatial strategy Gaunet and Thinus-Blanc described two types of exploratory patterns: a Cyclic pattern and a Back and Forth pattern. (...) Hill et al. identified another set of search strategies. The first strategy involves the boundaries of the surrounding space. When this strategy is used, exploration is minimal, as the explorer stays close to the wall to maintain relative safety in a novel and frightening environment. The second strategy is a network-type exploration. The third strategy, an object-to-object strategy, involves random wandering until the first cue or landmark is found. A mixture of the first and third strategy also occurs; when the organism uses the boundary of the space as a reference point; nearby objects will be explored. A fifth strategy, which the authors identified as a special case, occurs when the organism uses a salient landmark as base reference and carries out all exploratory activity in relation to this point.
The authors also have their own categories, related to Morris' virtual maze:
Thigmotaxis represents a circular part of the path that is passed along close to the arena wall (...) We defined “circling” as an arc shaped search path, which occurred somewhere inside the arena but not close to the wall and with the same curvature as the arena wall (...) visual scan occurred when a subject remains in a fixed position and turns (...) Enfilading is composed of relatively small position corrections and non-strategic motions. During this search strategy, it seems that the subject performs a rapid search, small direction changes and some straight lines of walk on a limited area of the virtual space.
Though it's not directly usable for CatchBob! I have here an interesting account of various spatial strategies.