Monkeys exhibit human-like gaze biases in economic decisions

Shira M. Lupkin, Vincent B. McGinty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In economic decision-making individuals choose between items based on their perceived value. For both humans and nonhuman primates, these decisions are often carried out while shifting gaze between the available options. Recent studies in humans suggest that these shifts in gaze actively influence choice, manifesting as a bias in favor of the items that are viewed first, viewed last, or viewed for the overall longest duration in a given trial. This suggests a mechanism that links gaze behavior to the neural computations underlying value-based choices. In order to identify this mechanism, it is first necessary to develop and validate a suitable animal model of this behavior. To this end, we have created a novel value-based choice task for macaque monkeys that captures the essential features of the human paradigms in which gaze biases have been observed. Using this task, we identified gaze biases in the monkeys that were both qualitatively and quantita-tively similar to those in humans. In addition, the monkeys’ gaze biases were well-explained using a sequential sampling model framework previously used to describe gaze biases in humans—the first time this framework has been used to assess value-based decision mechanisms in nonhuman primates. Together, these findings suggest a common mechanism that can explain gaze-related choice biases across species, and open the way for mechanistic studies to identify the neural origins of this behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere78205
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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