Scale (In)Variance in a Unified Diffusion Model of Decision Making and Timing

Title:
Scale (In)Variance in a Unified Diffusion Model of Decision Making and Timing
Authors:
Simen, Patrick; Vlasov, Ksenia; Papadakis, Samantha
Abstract:
Weber’s law is the canonical scale-invariance law in psychology: when the intensities of 2 stimuli are scaled by any value k, the just-noticeable-difference between them also scales by k. A diffusion model that approximates a spike-counting process accounts for Weber’s law (Link, 1992), but there exist surprising corollaries of this account that have not yet been described or tested. We show that (a) this spike-counting diffusion model predicts time-scale invariant decision time distributions in perceptual decision making, and time-scale invariant response time (RT) distributions in interval timing; (b) for 2-choice perceptual decisions, the model predicts equal accuracy but faster responding for stimulus pairs with equally scaled-up intensities; (c) the coefficient of variation (CV) of decision times should remain constant across average intensity scales, but should otherwise decrease as a specific function of stimulus discriminability and speed–accuracy trade-off; and (d) for timing tasks, RT CVs should be constant for all durations, and RT skewness should always equal 3 times the CV. We tested these predictions using visual, auditory and vibrotactile decision tasks and visual interval timing tasks in humans. The data conformed closely to the predictions in all modalities. These results support a unified theory of decision making and timing in terms of a common, underlying spike-counting process, compactly represented as a diffusion process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
Citation:
Simen, Patrick, Ksenia Vlasov, and Samantha Papadakis. 2016. "Scale (In)Variance in a Unified Diffusion Model of Decision Making and Timing." Psychological Review 123(2): 151-181.
Publisher:
US: American Psychological Association
DATE ISSUED:
2016-03
Department:
Neuroscience
Type:
Article
PUBLISHED VERSION:
10.1037/rev0000014
PERMANENT LINK:
http://hdl.handle.net/11282/582385

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorSimen, Patricken
dc.contributor.authorVlasov, Kseniaen
dc.contributor.authorPapadakis, Samanthaen
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-19T12:56:50Zen
dc.date.available2015-11-19T12:56:50Zen
dc.date.issued2016-03en
dc.identifier.citationSimen, Patrick, Ksenia Vlasov, and Samantha Papadakis. 2016. "Scale (In)Variance in a Unified Diffusion Model of Decision Making and Timing." Psychological Review 123(2): 151-181.en
dc.identifier.issn0033-295Xen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11282/582385en
dc.description.abstractWeber’s law is the canonical scale-invariance law in psychology: when the intensities of 2 stimuli are scaled by any value k, the just-noticeable-difference between them also scales by k. A diffusion model that approximates a spike-counting process accounts for Weber’s law (Link, 1992), but there exist surprising corollaries of this account that have not yet been described or tested. We show that (a) this spike-counting diffusion model predicts time-scale invariant decision time distributions in perceptual decision making, and time-scale invariant response time (RT) distributions in interval timing; (b) for 2-choice perceptual decisions, the model predicts equal accuracy but faster responding for stimulus pairs with equally scaled-up intensities; (c) the coefficient of variation (CV) of decision times should remain constant across average intensity scales, but should otherwise decrease as a specific function of stimulus discriminability and speed–accuracy trade-off; and (d) for timing tasks, RT CVs should be constant for all durations, and RT skewness should always equal 3 times the CV. We tested these predictions using visual, auditory and vibrotactile decision tasks and visual interval timing tasks in humans. The data conformed closely to the predictions in all modalities. These results support a unified theory of decision making and timing in terms of a common, underlying spike-counting process, compactly represented as a diffusion process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherUS: American Psychological Associationen
dc.identifier.doi10.1037/rev0000014en
dc.subject.departmentNeuroscienceen_US
dc.titleScale (In)Variance in a Unified Diffusion Model of Decision Making and Timingen_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalPsychological Reviewen
dc.identifier.volume123en_US
dc.identifier.issue2en_US
dc.identifier.startpage151en_US
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