CUED Publications database

Optimal inference of sameness.

van den Berg, R and Vogel, M and Josic, K and Ma, WJ (2012) Optimal inference of sameness. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109. pp. 3178-3183.

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Deciding whether a set of objects are the same or different is a cornerstone of perception and cognition. Surprisingly, no principled quantitative model of sameness judgment exists. We tested whether human sameness judgment under sensory noise can be modeled as a form of probabilistically optimal inference. An optimal observer would compare the reliability-weighted variance of the sensory measurements with a set size-dependent criterion. We conducted two experiments, in which we varied set size and individual stimulus reliabilities. We found that the optimal-observer model accurately describes human behavior, outperforms plausible alternatives in a rigorous model comparison, and accounts for three key findings in the animal cognition literature. Our results provide a normative footing for the study of sameness judgment and indicate that the notion of perception as near-optimal inference extends to abstract relations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals Cognition Humans Judgment Models, Biological Perception Psychometrics
Divisions: Div F > Computational and Biological Learning
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:25
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2018 01:51