Fixation patterns in simple choice reflect optimal information sampling

Frederick Callaway, Antonio Rangel, Thomas L. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Simple choices (e.g., eating an apple vs. an orange) are made by integrating noisy evidence that is sampled over time and influenced by visual attention; as a result, fluctuations in visual attention can affect choices. But what determines what is fixated and when? To address this question, we model the decision process for simple choice as an information sampling problem, and approximate the optimal sampling policy. We find that it is optimal to sample from options whose value estimates are both high and uncertain. Furthermore, the optimal policy provides a reasonable account of fixations and choices in binary and trinary simple choice, as well as the differences between the two cases. Overall, the results show that the fixation process during simple choice is influenced dynamically by the value estimates computed during the decision process, in a manner consistent with optimal information sampling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1008863
JournalPLoS computational biology
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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