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J Vis. 2019 Feb 1;19(2):5. doi: 10.1167/19.2.5.

Decoding go/no-go decisions from eye movements.

Fooken J1,2, Spering M1,2,3,4.

Author information

Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Center for Brain Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Neural activity in brain areas involved in the planning and execution of eye movements predicts the outcome of an upcoming perceptual decision. Many real-world decisions, such as whether to swing at a baseball pitch, are accompanied by characteristic eye-movement behavior. Here we ask whether human eye-movement kinematics can sensitively predict decision outcomes in a go/no-go task requiring rapid interceptive hand movements. Observers (n = 45) viewed a moving target that passed through or missed a designated strike box. Critically, the target disappeared briefly after launch, and observers had to predict the target's trajectory, withholding a hand movement if it missed (no-go) or intercepting inside the strike box (go). We found that go/no-go decisions were reflected in distinct eye-movement responses on a trial-by-trial basis: Eye-position error and targeting-saccade dynamics predicted decision outcome with 76% accuracy across conditions. Model prediction accuracy was related to observers' decision accuracy across different levels of task difficulty and sensory-signal strength. Our findings suggest that eye movements provide a sensitive and continuous readout of internal neural decision-making processes and reflect decision-task requirements in human observers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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