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In the blink of an eye: Value and novelty drive saccades

Cavanagh, SE; Malalasekera, N; Kennerley, SW; (2015) In the blink of an eye: Value and novelty drive saccades. Annals of Medicine and Surgery , 4 (3) pp. 319-320. 10.1016/j.amsu.2015.07.013. Green open access

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Abstract

Evidence accumulation is an essential component of value-based decisions. Recent human studies suggest that overt attention correlates with evidence accumulation necessary for optimal decisions. However, the influence of covert attention on decision-making remains relatively unexplored. To investigate this issue, two monkeys were trained to perform a decision-making task where they chose between two stimuli, which were either ‘Overtrained’ or learned that day (‘Novel’). Subjects could freely saccade during choice evaluation and indicated their decision by moving a joystick. Saccades were made within 170 ms of stimulus presentation and were strongly driven by both value and novelty, implying covert stimulus evaluation prior to saccade. This effect was strongest for ‘Overtrained’ choices, but rapidly emerged during learning of ‘Novel’ choices. Though novel stimuli attracted initial saccades, final decisions were guided only by value; implying attentional value comparison processes are at least partially dissociable from value comparison processes that govern final decisions. While subjects made highly optimal decisions, they frequently viewed only one stimulus; final choice was thus best explained by assuming covert evidence accumulation. Our results suggest that the primate brain contains multiple value comparison systems for guiding attention toward highly valuable or novel information while simultaneously optimizing final decision value.

Type: Article
Title: In the blink of an eye: Value and novelty drive saccades
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.amsu.2015.07.013
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amsu.2015.07.013
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1514406
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