The neurodynamics of choice, value-based decisions, and preference reversal

Marius Usher*, Anat Elhalal, James L. McClelland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter aims to review some of the neurocomputational work by contrasting the various processing assumptions and the way they account for one of the most intriguing patterns in the choice data: contextual preference-reversal. It introduces a very simple process model of choice, called the leaky competing accumulator (LCA) model, which has been developed to account for both perceptual and preferential choice data. It reviews some of the data on preference reversal, and on framing effects, which are the main targets of the neurocomputational theories. It discusses two such theories, the decisionfield theory (DFT) developed by Busemeyer and colleagues and an extension of the LCA. It further examines some similarities and contrasts between the models that lead to a set of experimental predictions and present experimental data aimed at testing these predictions and consider their implications for the issue of rationality in choice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Probabilistic Mind
Subtitle of host publicationProspects for Bayesian cognitive science
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191695971
ISBN (Print)9780199216093
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Choice data
  • Contextual preference-reversal
  • Decision-field theory
  • Framing effects
  • Leaky competing accumulator
  • Neurocomputational theories
  • Value-based decisions


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