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ECVP2017 symposium on sequential dependencies in perceptual choice

posted Jan 9, 2017, 6:17 AM by Floris de Lange
The symposium proposal "Unraveling Sequential Dependencies in Perceptual Choice" has been accepted for presentation at ECVP 2017 in Berlin.
More information on the symposium below.

Tobias H. Donner
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

Floris de Lange
Radbound University Nijmegen

Observer's judgments about their environment do not only depend on the current sensory input, but also on the behavioral context (1). One important contextual factor biasing perceptual choice has been known for almost a century: the history of preceding judgments and stimuli (2). In standard psychophysical tasks used in the laboratory, stimuli are often independent across subsequent trials. Consequently, serial dependencies in observers’ perceptual judgments are maladaptive (i.e., reducing performance below what could be achieved given their sensitivity). Yet, sequential biases are pervasive in perceptual choice, even in highly trained human and non-human observers. The origin and adaptive value of these sequential choice biases remain poorly understood.

Aim and Recurrent Theme:
The aim of this symposium will be to highlight and discuss recent progress in unraveling the computational and neural mechanisms governing sequential biases in perceptual choice. All speakers are renowned experts in perceptual decision-making. They come from different backgrounds and represent a diversity of experimental approaches and theoretical perspectives. The recurrent theme of the symposium will be the candidate factors that might jointly shape sequential choice biases, such as: the inferred serial correlation structure of the environment; perceptual uncertainty and arousal; the history of physical stimuli, perceptual choices, and motor responses. The talks will cover studies of different species (humans, monkeys, rodents), sensory modalities (vision, audition), experimental techniques and levels of analysis (single-unit recordings, neuroimaging, behavioral psychophysics, computational modeling), using quantitative approaches throughout. Integrating these diverse approaches within a single symposium will help identify general mechanistic principles underlying serial dependencies in perceptual choice. These principles will be of general relevance to anyone studying perception and decision-making.

(1) Gold, J. I. & Shadlen, M. N. The Neural Basis of Decision Making. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 30, 535–574 (2007).
(2) Fernberger, S. W. Interdependence of judgments within the series for the method of constant stimuli. J. Exp. Psychol. 3, 126 (1920).

Speakers & Topics:

Tobias H. Donner, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf: Quantifying the effect of arousal state on sequential biases in human perceptual choice

Floris de Lange, Radbound University Nijmegen: Behavioral and neural determinants of serial dependence in perceptual decisions

Justin Gardner, Stanford University: Asymmetric adaptability of human sequential dependencies suggests strategic confirmation bias

Jaime de la Rocha, IDIBAPS, Barcelona: Characterizing the dynamics of across-trial evidence accumulation in rodents and its neural correlates

Hendrikje Nienborg, Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Tübingen: Can sequential dependencies in choices and neural activity explain decision-related activity of single neurons in monkey early visual cortex?

Angela Yu, University of California, San Diego: Computational modeling of sequential effects in perception, cognitive control, and decision-making