A Caltech Library Service

Fixation patterns in simple choice reflect optimal information sampling

Callaway, Frederick and Rangel, Antonio and Griffiths, Thomas L. (2021) Fixation patterns in simple choice reflect optimal information sampling. PLOS Computational Biology, 17 (3). Art. No. e1008863. ISSN 1553-7358. PMCID PMC8026028. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008863.

PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

PDF - In Press Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF (S1 Appendix) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF (S2 Appendix) - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


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.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper CentralArticle
Callaway, Frederick0000-0001-7687-5987
Additional Information:© 2021 Callaway et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: August 30, 2020; Accepted: March 10, 2021; Published: March 26, 2021. We thank Ian Krajbich for his help in simulating the aDDM and Bas van Opheusden for suggesting the method for efficiently computing VOI_(full). Funding: This research was supported by a grant from Facebook Reality Labs awarded to TG ( virtual-reality/) and a grant from the NOMIS Foundation ( awarded to AR. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Author Contributions: Conceptualization: Frederick Callaway, Antonio Rangel, Thomas L. Griffiths. Data curation: Antonio Rangel. Formal analysis: Frederick Callaway. Funding acquisition: Thomas L. Griffiths. Software: Frederick Callaway. Supervision: Antonio Rangel, Thomas L. Griffiths. Visualization: Frederick Callaway. Writing – original draft: Frederick Callaway, Antonio Rangel. Writing – review & editing: Frederick Callaway, Antonio Rangel, Thomas L. Griffiths.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC8026028
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210406-102806808
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Callaway F, Rangel A, Griffiths TL (2021) Fixation patterns in simple choice reflect optimal information sampling. PLoS Comput Biol 17(3): e1008863. pcbi.1008863
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108631
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Apr 2021 01:22
Last Modified:22 Apr 2021 21:14

Repository Staff Only: item control page