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Confidence Predictions Affect Performance Confidence and Neural Preparation in Perceptual Decision Making

Boldt, A; Schiffer, A-M; Waszak, F; Yeung, N; (2019) Confidence Predictions Affect Performance Confidence and Neural Preparation in Perceptual Decision Making. Scientific Reports , 9 , Article 4031. 10.1038/s41598-019-40681-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Decisions are usually accompanied by a feeling of being wrong or right – a subjective confidence estimate. But what information is this confidence estimate based on, and what is confidence used for? To answer these questions, research has largely focused on confidence regarding current or past decisions, for example identifying how characteristics of the stimulus affect confidence, how confidence can be used as an internally generated feedback signal, and how communicating confidence can affect group decisions. Here, we report two studies which implemented a novel metacognitive measure: predictions of confidence for future perceptual decisions. Using computational modeling of behaviour and EEG, we established that experience-based confidence predictions are one source of information that affects how confident we are in future decision-making, and that learned confidence-expectations affect neural preparation for future decisions. Results from both studies show that participants develop precise confidence predictions informed by past confidence experience. Notably, our results also show that confidence predictions affect performance confidence rated after a decision is made; this finding supports the proposal that confidence judgments are based on multiple sources of information, including expectations. We found strong support for this link in neural correlates of stimulus preparation and processing. EEG measures of preparatory neural activity (contingent negative variation; CNV) and evidence accumulation (centro-parietal positivity; CPP) show that predicted confidence affects neural preparation for stimulus processing, supporting the proposal that one purpose of confidence judgments may be to learn about performance for future encounters and prepare accordingly.

Type: Article
Title: Confidence Predictions Affect Performance Confidence and Neural Preparation in Perceptual Decision Making
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-40681-9
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-40681-9
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Te images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071548
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