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Heuristics in risky decision-making relate to preferential representation of information

When making choices people differ from each other, as well as from normativity, in how they weigh different types of information. One explanation for this deviance relates to selective prioritization of what information is considered during choice evaluation. To formally test this, we employed a risky decision-making paradigm to examine the relationship between individual differences in neural representation of information and behavior. Specifically, we quantified the extent to which individual participants relied behaviorally on probability versus reward information and related this to how stimuli most informative for making probability and reward comparisons were neurally represented during the risky choice evaluation. Individual differences in a tendency to neurally represent reward- versus probability-informative stimuli explained differences in weighting of either information type in choices. We validated these results in a second behavioral experiment where outcome representation was indexed using a combination of priming and perceptual detection. Our overall results suggest that differences in the information individuals consider during choice shape their risk-taking tendencies.

Russek, Evan Russek; Moran Rani; Liu Yunzhe; Dolan Raymond J; Huys Quentin JM (2024). Nature Communications. In Press

The full article can be found here.

Posted in Publications