Visual fixations and the computation and comparison of value in simple choice

Nat Neurosci. 2010 Oct;13(10):1292-8. doi: 10.1038/nn.2635. Epub 2010 Sep 12.


Most organisms facing a choice between multiple stimuli will look repeatedly at them, presumably implementing a comparison process between the items' values. Little is known about the nature of the comparison process in value-based decision-making or about the role of visual fixations in this process. We created a computational model of value-based binary choice in which fixations guide the comparison process and tested it on humans using eye-tracking. We found that the model can quantitatively explain complex relationships between fixation patterns and choices, as well as several fixation-driven decision biases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Bias
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Dominance, Ocular
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Food Preferences / physiology
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Students
  • Time Factors
  • Universities