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A Mechanism for Value-Sensitive Decision-Making

Figure 2

Value-dependent decision-making over equal alternatives.

A critical cross-inhibition level can be calculated, below which stable decision-deadlock results due to a single stable attractor on the line. Increasing the strength of cross-inhibition above the critical threshold , this attractor becomes unstable and two stable attractors, one for each alternative, emerge from it and rapidly move apart [13]; in this situation one alternative will thus be chosen at random by the system. As the equation and plot for make clear, the level of cross-inhibition required to break deadlock decreases with increasing value of the two alternatives. Thus, holding cross-inhibition level constant, decisions over equal but low value alternatives can result in deadlock, while decisions over equal but high value alternatives can result in a random choice. This can lead to sophisticated decision dynamics (Figs. 3 and S3).

Figure 2