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Multialternative drift-diffusion model predicts the relationship between visual fixations and choice in value-based decisions.

Authors
  • Krajbich, Ian
  • Rangel, Antonio
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publisher
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Aug 16, 2011
Volume
108
Issue
33
Pages
13852–13857
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1101328108
PMID: 21808009
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

How do we make decisions when confronted with several alternatives (e.g., on a supermarket shelf)? Previous work has shown that accumulator models, such as the drift-diffusion model, can provide accurate descriptions of the psychometric data for binary value-based choices, and that the choice process is guided by visual attention. However, the computational processes used to make choices in more complicated situations involving three or more options are unknown. We propose a model of trinary value-based choice that generalizes what is known about binary choice, and test it using an eye-tracking experiment. We find that the model provides a quantitatively accurate description of the relationship between choice, reaction time, and visual fixation data using the same parameters that were estimated in previous work on binary choice. Our findings suggest that the brain uses similar computational processes to make binary and trinary choices.

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