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Some work and some play: microscopic and macroscopic approaches to labor and leisure.

Niyogi RK, Shizgal P, Dayan P - PLoS Comput. Biol. (2014)

Bottom Line: However, averaging over the more microscopic processes that govern choices is known to pose tricky theoretical problems, and also eschews any possibility of direct contact with the neural computations involved.We develop a microscopic framework, formalized as a semi-Markov decision process with possibly stochastic choices, in which subjects approximately maximise their expected returns by making momentary commitments to one or other activity.We show macroscopic utilities that arise from microscopic ones, and demonstrate how facets such as imperfect substitutability can arise in a more straightforward microscopic manner.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Given the option, humans and other animals elect to distribute their time between work and leisure, rather than choosing all of one and none of the other. Traditional accounts of partial allocation have characterised behavior on a macroscopic timescale, reporting and studying the mean times spent in work or leisure. However, averaging over the more microscopic processes that govern choices is known to pose tricky theoretical problems, and also eschews any possibility of direct contact with the neural computations involved. We develop a microscopic framework, formalized as a semi-Markov decision process with possibly stochastic choices, in which subjects approximately maximise their expected returns by making momentary commitments to one or other activity. We show macroscopic utilities that arise from microscopic ones, and demonstrate how facets such as imperfect substitutability can arise in a more straightforward microscopic manner.

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Macroscopic time allocation derived from normative, microscopic choices yields a superset of the mountain model.Left panels: 3-dimensional relationships between TA, reward intensity and price, right panel: contours of equal TA, predicted by the micro SMDP model for A) linear, B) concave . The 3-dimensional relationship and smooth contours for a linear  derive the mountain model in Fig.3. Note that an extra, higher set of reward intensities was necessary to achieve the full range of time allocation for linear . The fact that contours change direction at longer prices for a non-linear  rather than decrease monotonically reflects that TA may no longer decrease and even increase as the price is increased further.
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pcbi-1003894-g006: Macroscopic time allocation derived from normative, microscopic choices yields a superset of the mountain model.Left panels: 3-dimensional relationships between TA, reward intensity and price, right panel: contours of equal TA, predicted by the micro SMDP model for A) linear, B) concave . The 3-dimensional relationship and smooth contours for a linear derive the mountain model in Fig.3. Note that an extra, higher set of reward intensities was necessary to achieve the full range of time allocation for linear . The fact that contours change direction at longer prices for a non-linear rather than decrease monotonically reflects that TA may no longer decrease and even increase as the price is increased further.

Mentions: By integrating the microscopic choices from our model, we can compare it with macroscopic descriptions such as the mountain model. We saw that linear generates partial allocation with stochasticity. It therefore generates smooth (non-step function) macroscopic time allocation curves as a function of both reward intensity and price. Consequently, 3-dimensional relationships can be derived that are qualitatively similar to those specified by the mountain model (when expressed in terms of subjective reward intensity, compare Fig. 6A with Fig. 5).


Some work and some play: microscopic and macroscopic approaches to labor and leisure.

Niyogi RK, Shizgal P, Dayan P - PLoS Comput. Biol. (2014)

Macroscopic time allocation derived from normative, microscopic choices yields a superset of the mountain model.Left panels: 3-dimensional relationships between TA, reward intensity and price, right panel: contours of equal TA, predicted by the micro SMDP model for A) linear, B) concave . The 3-dimensional relationship and smooth contours for a linear  derive the mountain model in Fig.3. Note that an extra, higher set of reward intensities was necessary to achieve the full range of time allocation for linear . The fact that contours change direction at longer prices for a non-linear  rather than decrease monotonically reflects that TA may no longer decrease and even increase as the price is increased further.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4256012&req=5

pcbi-1003894-g006: Macroscopic time allocation derived from normative, microscopic choices yields a superset of the mountain model.Left panels: 3-dimensional relationships between TA, reward intensity and price, right panel: contours of equal TA, predicted by the micro SMDP model for A) linear, B) concave . The 3-dimensional relationship and smooth contours for a linear derive the mountain model in Fig.3. Note that an extra, higher set of reward intensities was necessary to achieve the full range of time allocation for linear . The fact that contours change direction at longer prices for a non-linear rather than decrease monotonically reflects that TA may no longer decrease and even increase as the price is increased further.
Mentions: By integrating the microscopic choices from our model, we can compare it with macroscopic descriptions such as the mountain model. We saw that linear generates partial allocation with stochasticity. It therefore generates smooth (non-step function) macroscopic time allocation curves as a function of both reward intensity and price. Consequently, 3-dimensional relationships can be derived that are qualitatively similar to those specified by the mountain model (when expressed in terms of subjective reward intensity, compare Fig. 6A with Fig. 5).

Bottom Line: However, averaging over the more microscopic processes that govern choices is known to pose tricky theoretical problems, and also eschews any possibility of direct contact with the neural computations involved.We develop a microscopic framework, formalized as a semi-Markov decision process with possibly stochastic choices, in which subjects approximately maximise their expected returns by making momentary commitments to one or other activity.We show macroscopic utilities that arise from microscopic ones, and demonstrate how facets such as imperfect substitutability can arise in a more straightforward microscopic manner.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Given the option, humans and other animals elect to distribute their time between work and leisure, rather than choosing all of one and none of the other. Traditional accounts of partial allocation have characterised behavior on a macroscopic timescale, reporting and studying the mean times spent in work or leisure. However, averaging over the more microscopic processes that govern choices is known to pose tricky theoretical problems, and also eschews any possibility of direct contact with the neural computations involved. We develop a microscopic framework, formalized as a semi-Markov decision process with possibly stochastic choices, in which subjects approximately maximise their expected returns by making momentary commitments to one or other activity. We show macroscopic utilities that arise from microscopic ones, and demonstrate how facets such as imperfect substitutability can arise in a more straightforward microscopic manner.

Show MeSH