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Decision-Making and Eye Movements

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Title: Decision-Making and Eye Movements


1
Decision-Making and Eye Movements
  • April 2006
  • Noel Schaeffer

2
Questions
  • 1) How can eye movement data be used to provide
    information on decision making?
  • 2) What do eye movements tell us specifically
    about the decision making process?

3
Abstract
  • The major emphasis of this review is in three
    areas including
  • 1) A brief history of eye movement studies.
  • 2) The neurological foundations of eye movements
    as they are related to decision making.
  • 3) Applied human factors study involving cancer
    detection using x-ray films.

4
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief
History
  • Tikhomirov and Poznyanskaya (1966) studied eye
    fixations to better understand the heuristics
    used in problem solving.
  • Building on the previous research of Yarbus
    (1961) the authors used eye movement data
    collected on film to gather information in order
    to better describe the intellectual functions
    of eye movements and their role in solving mental
    problems during a simulated chess game.
  • Tikhomirov, O. K., Poznyanskaya, E. D. (1966).
    An investigation of visual search as a means of
    analyzing heuristics. Soviet Psychology, 5(2),
    3-15.

5
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • They recorded eye movements during participants
    selection of moves in a chess game.
  • The chess board was positioned in front of the
    participants while they rested their head on a
    chin rest to minimize movement.
  • A small hole was made in the middle of the chess
    board to accommodate the filming camera.
  • The eye movements were recorded using a filming
    method of 24 frames per second and were subject
    to a frame by frame analysis in order to collect
    fixation times and the pattern of eye movements.

6
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • The most important finding described by the
    authors is that subjects activity in finding a
    move is constructed by means of repeated
    investigation of the same elements, carried out
    mainly by the movements of working out moves.
    (p. 9 Tikhomirov Poznyanskaya, 1966).

7
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • A study by Russo and Rosen (1975) used eye
    fixation data to look at a multialternative
    choice process.
  • The authors point out that up until this point in
    the literature there had been a focus only on two
    alternative choices and that this category of
    choices is not representative of naturalistic
    choice making behavior.
  • Russo, J. E., Rosen, L. D. (1975). An eye
    fixation analysis of multialternative choice.
    Memory and cognition, 3(3), 267-276.

8
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • The authors had participants view a monitor and
    press a button to begin the trial. A description
    of six used cars (make, year, and mileage) was
    displayed to them on a CRT monitor for less then
    a second one at a time, and then all together.
  • The six used car descriptions were then available
    continuously in a 2 by 3 array until the end of
    the trial.

9
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • The main use of the sequence of eye fixations was
    the inference of a pair comparison (binary
    processing) from alternations of 3 or more.
  • For example, if a participant used a sequence of
    eye fixations of X-Y-X-Y then this was considered
    a pair comparison.

10
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • The participants were instructed to choose the
    best used car from the six available.
  • Eye movements were examined during the
    experiments using a photoelectric sensing
    apparatus.
  • Eye positions were sensed 100 times per second
    and recorded by a PDP-12 computer (Digital
    Equipment Corporation).

11
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • The authors discovered that participants do use a
    pair comparison (binary processing) structure
    during the multialternative choice process.
  • The data showed that during a multialternative
    choice participants generally employed an eye
    fixation sequence of X-Y-X-Y which is considered
    a pair comparison computational strategy.

12
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • A classic study by Rosen and Rosenkoetter (1976)
    examined eye fixations in order to inspect the
    judgment and decision making process.
  • In this study the primary goal was to use the
    data collected from eye fixations to determine
    what heuristic strategies are used across
    different environments
  • The authors divided the constructs of choice
    (decision, or dimensional strategy) and judgments
    (holistic evaluation) into two distinct areas.
  • Rosen, L. D. Rosenkoetter, P. (1976). An eye
    fixation analysis of choice and judgment with
    multiattribute stumuli, Memory and Cognition,
    4(6), 747-752.

13
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • For a dimensional strategy (decision) the eye
    fixation sequence should exhibit an alternating
    series of fixations from a single dimension of
    one stimulus alternative to the same dimension of
    the other stimulus (p. 748 Rosen Rosenkoetter,
    1976).
  • Gamble A Gamble B
  • Money to be won 4.29 2.85
  • Probability of winning .44 .72
  • Amount to be lost -1.29 -2.80

14
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • For a dimensional strategy (decision) the eye
    fixation sequence should exhibit an alternating
    series of fixations from a single dimension of
    one stimulus alternative to the same dimension of
    the other stimulus (p. 748 Rosen Rosenkoetter,
    1976).
  • Gamble A Gamble B
  • Money to be won 4.29 2.85
  • Probability of winning .44 .72
  • Amount to be lost -1.29 -2.80

15
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • Eye fixation patterns for those participants
    using a holistic evaluation (judgment) would
    follow a pattern consistent with moving from
    dimension to dimension within a single stimulus.
  • Gamble A Gamble B
  • Money to be won 4.29 2.85
  • Probability of winning .44 .72
  • Amount to be lost -1.29 -2.80

16
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • Eye fixation patterns for those participants
    using a holistic evaluation (judgment) would
    follow a pattern consistent with moving from
    dimension to dimension within a single stimulus.
  • Gamble A Gamble B
  • Money to be won 4.29 2.85
  • Probability of winning .44 .72
  • Amount to be lost -1.29 -2.80

17
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • The stimuli were presented to paid participants
    on a CRT monitor.
  • Eye movements were recorded via a photoelectric
    eye position sensor, which was continuously
    displayed on another monitor in front of the
    experimenter who monitored the data for errors.
  • The experimenter had all six participants use a
    bite bar to restrict their head movements and
    provide more accurate eye movement data.

18
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • The authors found that the stimulus environment
    (i.e. the gamble, vacations, and gift packages
    environment) had a significant and systematic
    impact on the heuristics that were used by the
    participants.
  • The gamble and vacation environments both showed
    a holistic evaluation (judgment).
  • The gifts environment showed the use of a
    dimensional strategy (decision).

19
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • Russo and Dosher (1983) in which they conducted a
    series of experiments that used eye fixation
    patterns along with verbal report to determine
    which decision making strategies (holistic or
    dimensional) would be used by participants.
  • The paradigm under investigation was
    multiattribute binary choice.
  • Russo, J. E., Dosher, B. A. (1983). Strategies
    for multiattribute binary choice. Journal of
    Experimental Psychology Learning, Memory, and
    Cognition, 9(4), 676-696.

20
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • The task environment was hospitable (neutral) to
    both holistic and dimensional strategies in
    experiments 1 and 2.
  • In experiment 3 the task was asymmetrically
    skewed to represent mostly holistic attributes
    (gambles).
  • In all three experiments a dimensional strategy
    was predominant. Only in the third experiment in
    which the environment was manipulated did the
    authors see a small decrease in the use of a
    dimensional processing method.

21
Eye Movements and Decision Making A Brief History
  • An explanation of the use of the dimensional
    strategy compared to the holistic strategy would
    be analogous to comparing apples to apples
    (dimensional) versus apples to oranges (holistic)
    (Russo Dosher, 1983).
  • This analogy implies that it is somehow
    cognitively less effortful to compare these
    attributes with one another. The idea of
    reducing cognitive effort at the expense of a
    small increase in errors is congruent with the
    heuristics and biases approach posited by Tversky
    and Kahneman (1971, 1973, 1974).

22
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
  • The examination of decision making can be done
    through the collection of eye movement data in
    combination with neurological data.
  • Jeffrey D. Schalls Website
  • Schall, J. D. (2001). Neural basis of deciding,
    choosing and acting. Nature Reviews
    Neuroscience, 2, 33-42.

23
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
24
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
25
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
26
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
  • Research examining behavioral risk preference,
    which is of major interest in judgment and
    decision making, is exemplified by a study from
    McCoy and Platt (2005).
  • The methodology of this study uses an interesting
    visual gambling task with macaque monkeys while
    recording neural output in the posterior
    cingulate cortex.
  • McCoy, A. N., Platt, M. L. (2005).
    Risk-sensitive neurons in macaque posterior
    cingulate cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 8(9),
    1220-1227.

27
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
Reward
T1
Move
Fixation Off
T1
T2
Delay
T2
Time
Target On
Fixation On
28
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
  • The visual gambling task included a fixation
    point (yellow LED) and two targets (yellow LEDs)
    displayed on a monitor. The targets were
    classified as certain and risky because of
    the amount of juice reward that was allowed
    access by the researchers.
  • For example, an eye gaze to the certain target
    allowed the monkey 150ms access to the juice
    reward everytime. Eye movements to the risky
    target resulted in the random access to the juice
    reward for less then 150ms for half of the trials
    and more than 150ms for the other half of the
    trials.
  • The mean access to the juice reward for the risky
    target was 150ms, which was equal to that of the
    certain target over time.
  • There were 4,040 trials between two monkeys.

29
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
  • The results of this study found that monkeys
    prefer the risky target despite the random
    variation in juice reward described earlier.
  • Note that the overall juice reward from choosing
    each target was the same over time.
  • Neuronal activity also increased in the posterior
    cingulate cortex in relation to the risky choice
    made by the monkey.

30
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
  • The decisions about where and when to look are
    important because they not only provide insight
    into the cognitive processes that occur within
    the brain, but also allow researchers to examine
    the physiological events that take place at a
    mechanistic level.
  • A review by Glimcher (2001) considers this point.
  • Glimcher, P. W. (2001). Making choices The
    neurophysiology of visual-saccadic decision
    making. Trends in Neurosciences, 24(11), 654-659.
  • Glimcher, P. W. (2003a). The neurobiology of
    visual-saccadic decision making. Annual Review
    of Neuroscience, 26, 133-179.

31
Neural Foundations of Eye Movements and Decision
Making
  • The modern field of neurophysiology with respect
    to the study of decision making borrows heavily
    from the social sciences including economic
    theories of decision making in order to build on
    the evolving architecture called neuroeconomics
    that is quickly being established.
  • Traditionally the neurosciences in general have
    been extremely data rich but have lacked the
    underlying theory necessary to build a proper
    architecture that would allow it to transcend
    physiology and perfuse into the social sciences.

32
Developments in Applied Eye Tracking and Decision
Making Research
  • A review by Krupinsky (2000) provides a unique
    view of the importance of eye tracking research
    applied to the detection of cancer nodes in x-ray
    images.
  • This importance is due primarily because of the
    imperfect ability of viewers to visually detect
    lesions or other malignant tumors.
  • The error rates associated with miss diagnosed
    x-ray films directly impacts patient care.
  • Krupiniski, E. A. (2000). The Importance of
    perception research in medical imaging.
    Radiation Medicine, 18(6), 329-334.

33
Developments in Applied Eye Tracking and Decision
Making Research
  • The author classifies false negatives into three
    categories including
  • Search Errors
  • Missed lesions no foveal vision.
  • Recognition Errors
  • Some lesions are looked at but not long enough.
  • Decision Errors
  • Some lesions are looked at for long periods of
    time and still missed.
  • The author argues that decision errors can be
    reduced by using perceptually-based feedback.

34
Developments in Applied Eye Tracking and Decision
Making Research
35
Developments in Applied Eye Tracking and Decision
Making Research
  • It was hypothesized that the physical circle
    around the long-dwell areas served to focus
    attention on that area.
  • This increased attentional focus allowed the high
    resolution fovea to fall on the suspected area
    more frequently and with greater accuracy
    (Krupiniski, 2000).
  • This technique may be used in newer non-film
    (digital) applications to draw radiologists
    foveal attention to areas of suspicion.

36
Conclusion
  • 1) How can eye movement data be used to provide
    information on decision making?
  • Eye movement data can be used to
  • examine decision strategies in multialternative
    choices.
  • The combination of neuronal, behavioral and eye
    movement data can be used cooperatively to
    examine decision making.
  • It can be used to assess decision making errors.

37
Conclusion
  • 2) What do eye movements tell us specifically
    about the decision making process?
  • Eye movements reflect cognitive programs that
    humans use to make decisions.
  • Different environments select for different
    evaluation strategies and thus eye fixation
    programs, some of which may be error prone.
  • Eye movements can help researchers evaluate the
    decision making process by providing additional
    information into the cognitive mechanisms (even
    at the neurological level) that produce them.
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