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Published September 22, 2015 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Dynamic Integration of Value Information into a Common Probability Currency as a Theory for Flexible Decision Making


Decisions involve two fundamental problems, selecting goals and generating actions to pursue those goals. While simple decisions involve choosing a goal and pursuing it, humans evolved to survive in hostile dynamic environments where goal availability and value can change with time and previous actions, entangling goal decisions with action selection. Recent studies suggest the brain generates concurrent action-plans for competing goals, using online information to bias the competition until a single goal is pursued. This creates a challenging problem of integrating information across diverse types, including both the dynamic value of the goal and the costs of action. We model the computations underlying dynamic decision-making with disparate value types, using the probability of getting the highest pay-off with the least effort as a common currency that supports goal competition. This framework predicts many aspects of decision behavior that have eluded a common explanation.

Additional Information

© 2015 Christopoulos, Schrater. 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: July 17, 2014; Accepted: June 9, 2015; Published: September 22, 2015. Funding: This work was funded by ONR: N000140710937. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Data Availability Statement: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files. Acknowledgments: We thank Dr. J. Bonaiuto, Dr. Sofia Sakellaridi and Luke Urban for comments on the manuscript. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: VC PRS. Performed the experiments: VC. Analyzed the data: VC PRS. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: VC. Wrote the paper: VC PRS.

Attached Files

Published - journal.pcbi.1004402.pdf

Supplemental Material - journal.pcbi.1004402.s001.TIF

Supplemental Material - journal.pcbi.1004402.s002.PDF

Supplemental Material - journal.pcbi.1004402.s003.PDF

Supplemental Material - journal.pcbi.1004402.s004.PDF

Supplemental Material - journal.pcbi.1004402.s005.PDF

Supplemental Material - journal.pcbi.1004402.s006.PDF

Supplemental Material - journal.pcbi.1004402.s007.PDF


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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023