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Elife. 2016 Feb 1;5:e12192. doi: 10.7554/eLife.12192.

A common mechanism underlies changes of mind about decisions and confidence.

Author information

1
Computational and Biological Learning Laboratory, Department of Engineering, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
2
Kavli Institute, Columbia University, New York, United States.
3
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, New York, United States.
4
Department of Neuroscience, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University, New York, United States.
5
Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, United States.

Abstract

Decisions are accompanied by a degree of confidence that a selected option is correct. A sequential sampling framework explains the speed and accuracy of decisions and extends naturally to the confidence that the decision rendered is likely to be correct. However, discrepancies between confidence and accuracy suggest that confidence might be supported by mechanisms dissociated from the decision process. Here we show that this discrepancy can arise naturally because of simple processing delays. When participants were asked to report choice and confidence simultaneously, their confidence, reaction time and a perceptual decision about motion were explained by bounded evidence accumulation. However, we also observed revisions of the initial choice and/or confidence. These changes of mind were explained by a continuation of the mechanism that led to the initial choice. Our findings extend the sequential sampling framework to vacillation about confidence and invites caution in interpreting dissociations between confidence and accuracy.

KEYWORDS:

computational neuroscience; decision making; human; motor control; neuroscience

PMID:
26829590
PMCID:
PMC4798971
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.12192
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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