DOI: 10.1101/508655Dec 31, 2018Paper

Combinations of low-level and high-level neural processes account for distinct patterns of context-dependent choice

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Mehran SpitmaanAlireza Soltani


Context effects have been explained by either low-level neural adjustments or high-level cognitive processes but not their combination. It is currently unclear how these processes interact to shape individuals' responses to context. Here, we used a large cohort of human subjects in experiments involving choice between two or three gambles in order to study the dependence of context effects on neural adaptation and individuals' risk attitudes. Our experiments did not provide any evidence that neural adaptation on long timescales (~100 trials) contributes to context effects. Using post-hoc analyses we identified two groups of subjects with distinct patterns of responses to decoys, both of which depended on individuals' risk aversion. Subjects in the first group exhibited strong, consistent decoy effects and became more risk averse due to decoy presentation. In contrast, subjects in the second group did not show consistent decoy effects and became more risk seeking. The degree of change in risk aversion due to decoy presentation was positively correlated with the original degrees of risk aversion. To explain these results and reveal underlying neural mechanisms, we developed new models incorporating both low- and high-level proces...Continue Reading

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