A divisive model of evidence accumulation explains uneven weighting of evidence over time

Waitsang Keung, Todd A. Hagen, Robert C. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Divisive normalization has long been used to account for computations in various neural processes and behaviours. The model proposes that inputs into a neural system are divisively normalized by the system’s total activity. More recently, dynamical versions of divisive normalization have been shown to account for how neural activity evolves over time in value-based decision making. Despite its ubiquity, divisive normalization has not been studied in decisions that require evidence to be integrated over time. Such decisions are important when the information is not all available at once. A key feature of such decisions is how evidence is weighted over time, known as the integration kernel. Here, we provide a formal expression for the integration kernel in divisive normalization, and show that divisive normalization quantitatively accounts for 133 human participants’ perceptual decision making behaviour, performing as well as the state-of-the-art Drift Diffusion Model, the predominant model for perceptual evidence accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2160
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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