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Human optional stopping in a heteroscedastic world

Tickle, H; Tsetsos, K; Speekenbrink, M; Summerfield, C; (2021) Human optional stopping in a heteroscedastic world. Psychological Review 10.1037/rev0000315. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

When making decisions, animals must trade off the benefits of information harvesting against the opportunity cost of prolonged deliberation. Deciding when to stop accumulating information and commit to a choice is challenging in natural environments, where the reliability of decision-relevant information may itself vary unpredictably over time (variable variance or "heteroscedasticity"). We asked humans to perform a categorization task in which discrete, continuously valued samples (oriented gratings) arrived in series until the observer made a choice. Human behavior was best described by a model that adaptively weighted sensory signals by their inverse prediction error and integrated the resulting quantities with a linear urgency signal to a decision threshold. This model approximated the output of a Bayesian model that computed the full posterior probability of a correct response, and successfully predicted adaptive weighting of decision information in neural signals. Adaptive weighting of decision information may have evolved to promote optional stopping in heteroscedastic natural environments. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Type: Article
Title: Human optional stopping in a heteroscedastic world
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/rev0000315
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000315
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137316
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