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On the role of time in perceptual decision making

Lengyel, M and Koblinger, Á and Popović, M and Fiser, J On the role of time in perceptual decision making. (Unpublished)

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According to the dominant view, time in perceptual decision making is used for integrating new sensory evidence. Based on a probabilistic framework, we investigated the alternative hypothesis that time is used for gradually refining an internal estimate of uncertainty, that is to obtain an increasingly accurate approximation of the posterior distribution through collecting samples from it. In the context of a simple orientation estimation task, we analytically derived predictions of how humans should behave under the two hypotheses, and identified the across-trial correlation between error and subjective uncertainty as a proper assay to distinguish between them. Next, we developed a novel experimental paradigm that could be used to reliably measure these quantities, and tested the predictions derived from the two hypotheses. We found that in our task, humans show clear evidence that they use time mostly for probabilistic sampling and not for evidence integration. These results provide the first empirical support for iteratively improving probabilistic representations in perceptual decision making, and open the way to reinterpret the role of time in the cortical processing of complex sensory information.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: q-bio.NC q-bio.NC
Divisions: Div F > Computational and Biological Learning
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2017 20:11
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2018 07:20