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Confidence drives a neural confirmation bias

Rollwage, M; Loosen, A; Hauser, TU; Moran, R; Dolan, RJ; Fleming, SM; (2020) Confidence drives a neural confirmation bias. Nature Communications , 11 (1) , Article 2634. 10.1038/s41467-020-16278-6. Green open access

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Abstract

A prominent source of polarised and entrenched beliefs is confirmation bias, where evidence against one's position is selectively disregarded. This effect is most starkly evident when opposing parties are highly confident in their decisions. Here we combine human magnetoencephalography (MEG) with behavioural and neural modelling to identify alterations in post-decisional processing that contribute to the phenomenon of confirmation bias. We show that holding high confidence in a decision leads to a striking modulation of post-decision neural processing, such that integration of confirmatory evidence is amplified while disconfirmatory evidence processing is abolished. We conclude that confidence shapes a selective neural gating for choice-consistent information, reducing the likelihood of changes of mind on the basis of new information. A central role for confidence in shaping the fidelity of evidence accumulation indicates that metacognitive interventions may help ameliorate this pervasive cognitive bias.

Type: Article
Title: Confidence drives a neural confirmation bias
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16278-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16278-6
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Decision, Human behaviour
UCL classification: UCL
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 > 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/10099205
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