New advances in understanding decisions among multiple alternatives

Churchland, A. K., Ditterich, J. (2012) New advances in understanding decisions among multiple alternatives. Current Opinion in Neurobiology. ISSN 0959-4388

DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.04.009


Experimental studies of decision-making have put a strong emphasis on choices between two alternatives. However, real-life decisions often involve multiple alternatives. This article provides an overview of theoretical frameworks that have been proposed to account for behavioral data from both economic and perceptual multialternative decision-making. We further review recent neurophysiological data collected in conjunction with decision-making behavior. These neural recordings provide constraints on putative models of the decision mechanism. For example, the time course of inhibition provides insight into how the competition between alternatives is mediated. Furthermore, whereas decision-related neural activity seems to reach a common threshold at the end of the decision period, the starting point tends to depend systematically on the number of alternatives. We discuss candidate mechanisms that could drive the reduction in firing rates on decisions among multiple alternatives.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior
organism description > animal behavior > decision making
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Churchland lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 2012
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2013 20:22
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2013 20:22
PMCID: PMC3422607
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