The Cost of Accumulating Evidence in Perceptual Decision Making

Drugowitsch, J., Moreno-Bote, R., Churchland, A. K., Shadlen, M. N., Pouget, A. (March 2012) The Cost of Accumulating Evidence in Perceptual Decision Making. Journal of Neuroscience, 32 (11). pp. 3612-3628. ISSN 0270-6474

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URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22423085
DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.4010-11.2012

Abstract

Decision making often involves the accumulation of information over time, but acquiring information typically comes at a cost. Little is known about the cost incurred by animals and humans for acquiring additional information from sensory variables due, for instance, to attentional efforts. Through a novel integration of diffusion models and dynamic programming, we were able to estimate the cost of making additional observations per unit of time from two monkeys and six humans in a reaction time (RT) random-dot motion discrimination task. Surprisingly, we find that the cost is neither zero nor constant over time, but for the animals and humans features a brief period in which it is constant but increases thereafter. In addition, we show that our theory accurately matches the observed reaction time distributions for each stimulus condition, the time-dependent choice accuracy both conditional on stimulus strength and independent of it, and choice accuracy and mean reaction times as a function of stimulus strength. The theory also correctly predicts that urgency signals in the brain should be independent of the difficulty, or stimulus strength, at each trial.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior
organism description > animal behavior > decision making
organism description > animal > mammal > primates > hominids > human
organism description > animal > mammal > primates > monkey
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Churchland lab
Depositing User: CSHL Librarian
Date: 14 March 2012
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2012 15:37
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2014 15:10
PMCID: PMC3329788
Related URLs:
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/25448

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