Lapses in perceptual decisions reflect exploration.

Pisupati, Sashank, Chartarifsky-Lynn, Lital, Khanal, Anup, Churchland, Anne K (January 2021) Lapses in perceptual decisions reflect exploration. eLife, 10. pp. 1-27. ISSN 2050-084X

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DOI: 10.7554/eLife.55490


Perceptual decision-makers often display a constant rate of errors independent of evidence strength. These 'lapses' are treated as a nuisance arising from noise tangential to the decision, e.g. inattention or motor errors. Here, we use a multisensory decision task in rats to demonstrate that these explanations cannot account for lapses' stimulus dependence. We propose a novel explanation: lapses reflect a strategic trade-off between exploiting known rewarding actions and exploring uncertain ones. We tested this model's predictions by selectively manipulating one action's reward magnitude or probability. As uniquely predicted by this model, changes were restricted to lapses associated with that action. Finally, we show that lapses are a powerful tool for assigning decision-related computations to neural structures based on disruption experiments (here, posterior striatum and secondary motor cortex). These results suggest that lapses reflect an integral component of decision-making and are informative about action values in normal and disrupted brain states.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior > decision making
organism description > animal behavior > perception
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > rat
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > rat
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Churchland lab
School of Biological Sciences > Publications
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: 11 January 2021
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2021 17:05
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2022 16:08
PMCID: PMC7846276
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