Idiosyncratic choice bias naturally emerges from intrinsic stochasticity in neuronal dynamics

Lior Lebovich*, Ran Darshan, Yoni Lavi, David Hansel, Yonatan Loewenstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Idiosyncratic tendency to choose one alternative over others in the absence of an identified reason is a common observation in two-alternative forced-choice experiments. Here we quantify idiosyncratic choice biases in a perceptual discrimination task and a motor task. We report substantial and significant biases in both cases that cannot be accounted for by the experimental context. Then, we present theoretical evidence that even in an idealized experiment, in which the settings are symmetric, idiosyncratic choice bias is expected to emerge from the dynamics of competing neuronal networks. We thus argue that idiosyncratic choice bias reflects the microscopic dynamics of choice and therefore is virtually inevitable in any comparison or decision task.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1190-1202
Number of pages13
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.


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