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Forming global estimates of self-performance from local confidence

Rouault, M; Dayan, P; Fleming, SM; (2019) Forming global estimates of self-performance from local confidence. Nature Communicationsvolume , 10 (1) , Article 1141. 10.1038/s41467-019-09075-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Metacognition, the ability to internally evaluate our own cognitive performance, is particularly useful since many real-life decisions lack immediate feedback. While most previous studies have focused on the construction of confidence at the level of single decisions, little is known about the formation of “global” self-performance estimates (SPEs) aggregated from multiple decisions. Here, we compare the formation of SPEs in the presence and absence of feedback, testing a hypothesis that local decision confidence supports the formation of SPEs when feedback is unavailable. We reveal that humans pervasively underestimate their performance in the absence of feedback, compared to a condition with full feedback, despite objective performance being unaffected. We find that fluctuations in confidence contribute to global SPEs over and above objective accuracy and reaction times. Our findings create a bridge between a computation of local confidence and global SPEs, and support a functional role for confidence in higher-order behavioral control.

Type: Article
Title: Forming global estimates of self-performance from local confidence
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09075-3
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09075-3
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Cognitive neuroscience, Decision making, Human behaviour, Psychology
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 > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070537
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