You obtain details of the steps solvers take by setting the Display option to 'iter' with optimset. The displayed output contains headings and items from the following list.
Iteration number, meaning the number of steps the algorithm has taken
Cumulative number of function evaluations
fminbnd, fminsearch, fzero
Current objective function value
Smallest objective function value found
Algorithm used during the iteration
For details, see fminsearch Algorithm.
a, f(a), b, f(b)
Search points and their function values while looking for an interval with function values of opposite signs