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Risky visuomotor choices during rapid reaching in childhood

Dekker, TM; Nardini, M; (2016) Risky visuomotor choices during rapid reaching in childhood. Developmental Science , 19 (3) pp. 427-439. 10.1111/desc.12322. Green open access

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Abstract

Many everyday actions are implicit gambles because imprecisions in our visuomotor systems place probabilities on our success or failure. Choosing optimal action strategies involves weighting the costs and gains of potential outcomes by their corresponding probabilities, and requires stable representations of one's own imprecisions. How this ability is acquired during development in childhood when visuomotor skills change drastically is unknown. In a rewarded rapid reaching task, 6- to 11-year-old children followed ‘risk-seeking’ strategies leading to overly high point-loss. Adults' performance, in contrast, was close to optimal. Children's errors were not explained by distorted estimates of value or probability, but may reflect different action selection criteria or immature integration of value and probability information while planning movements. These findings provide a starting point for understanding children's risk-taking in everyday visuomotor situations when suboptimal choices can be dangerous. Moreover, children's risky visuomotor decisions mirror those reported for non-motor gambles, raising the possibility that common processes underlie development across decision-making domains.

Type: Article
Title: Risky visuomotor choices during rapid reaching in childhood
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/desc.12322
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.12322
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Developmental Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Developmental, Psychology, Experimental, Psychology, STATISTICAL DECISION-THEORY, EXPECTED VALUE, CHILDREN, TASK, ADULTS, INFORMATION, REPRESENTATIONS, UNCERTAINTY, INTEGRATION, OPENINGS
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 > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1489457
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