The roles of online and offline replay in planning

Eran Eldar*, Gaëlle Lièvre, Peter Dayan, Raymond J. Dolan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Animals and humans replay neural patterns encoding trajectories through their environment, both whilst they solve decision-making tasks and during rest. Both on-task and off-task replay are believed to contribute to flexible decision making, though how their relative contributions differ remains unclear. We investigated this question by using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study human subjects while they performed a decision-making task that was designed to reveal the decision algorithms employed. We characterised subjects in terms of how flexibly each adjusted their choices to changes in temporal, spatial and reward structure. The more flexible a subject, the more they replayed trajectories during task performance, and this replay was coupled with re-planning of the encoded trajectories. The less flexible a subject, the more they replayed previously preferred trajectories during rest periods between task epochs. The data suggest that online and offline replay both participate in planning but support distinct decision strategies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere56911
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Eldar et al.


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