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A tutorial on cue combination and Signal Detection Theory: Using changes in sensitivity to evaluate how observers integrate sensory information

Jones, PR; (2016) A tutorial on cue combination and Signal Detection Theory: Using changes in sensitivity to evaluate how observers integrate sensory information. Journal of Mathematical Psychology , 73 pp. 117-139. 10.1016/j.jmp.2016.04.006. Green open access

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Abstract

Many sensory inputs contain multiple sources of information (‘cues’), such as two sounds of different frequencies, or a voice heard in unison with moving lips. Often, each cue provides a separate estimate of the same physical attribute, such as the size or location of an object. An ideal observer can exploit such redundant sensory information to improve the accuracy of their perceptual judgments. For example, if each cue is modeled as an independent, Gaussian, random variable, then combining Ncues should provide up to a √N improvement in detection/discrimination sensitivity. Alternatively, a less efficient observer may base their decision on only a subset of the available information, and so gain little or no benefit from having access to multiple sources of information. Here we use Signal Detection Theory to formulate and compare various models of cue-combination, many of which are commonly used to explain empirical data. We alert the reader to the key assumptions inherent in each model, and provide formulas for deriving quantitative predictions. Code is also provided for simulating each model, allowing expected levels of measurement error to be quantified. Based on these results, it is shown that predicted sensitivity often differs surprisingly little between qualitatively distinct models of combination. This means that sensitivity alone is not sufficient for understanding decision efficiency, and the implications of this are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: A tutorial on cue combination and Signal Detection Theory: Using changes in sensitivity to evaluate how observers integrate sensory information
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmp.2016.04.006
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmp.2016.04.006
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Interdisciplinary Applications, Social Sciences, Mathematical Methods, Psychology, Mathematical, Mathematics, Mathematical Methods In Social Sciences, Psychology, Cue combination, Multisensory integration, Weighted linear summation, Signal Detection Theory, Internal noise, Normal-hearing Listeners, Race Model Inequality, Auditory-nerve Fibers, Multisensory Integration, Internal Noise, Reaction-time, Audiovisual Integration, Superior Colliculus, Population Codes, Working-memory
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 > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1504279
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