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Suboptimal criterion setting in a perceptual choice task with asymmetric reinforcement

Stüttgen, M. C. and Kasties, N. and Lengersdorf, D. and Starosta, S. and Güntürkün, O. and Jäkel, F. :
Suboptimal criterion setting in a perceptual choice task with asymmetric reinforcement.
[Online-Edition: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2013.02.014]
In: Behavioral Processes, 96 pp. 59-70.
[Article] , (2013)

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2013.02.014

Abstract

Performance on psychophysical tasks is influenced by a variety of non-sensory factors, most notably the magnitude or probability of reinforcement following correct responses. When reinforcement probability is unequal for hits and correct rejections, signal detection theory specifies an optimal decision criterion which maximizes the number of reinforcers. We subjected pigeons to a task in which six different stimuli (shades of gray) had to be assigned to one of two categories. Animals were confronted with asymmetric reinforcement schedules in which correct responses to five of the stimuli were reinforced with a probability of 0.5, while correct responses to the remaining stimulus were extinguished. The subjects’ resultant choice probabilities clearly deviated from those predicted by a maximization account. More specifically, the magnitude of the choice bias increased with the distance of the to-be-extinguished stimulus to the category boundary, a pattern opposite to that posited by maximization. The present and a previous set of results in which animals performed optimally can be explained by a simple choice mechanism in which a variable decision criterion is constantly updated according to a leaky integration of incomes attained from both response options.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2013
Creators: Stüttgen, M. C. and Kasties, N. and Lengersdorf, D. and Starosta, S. and Güntürkün, O. and Jäkel, F.
Title: Suboptimal criterion setting in a perceptual choice task with asymmetric reinforcement
Language: English
Abstract:

Performance on psychophysical tasks is influenced by a variety of non-sensory factors, most notably the magnitude or probability of reinforcement following correct responses. When reinforcement probability is unequal for hits and correct rejections, signal detection theory specifies an optimal decision criterion which maximizes the number of reinforcers. We subjected pigeons to a task in which six different stimuli (shades of gray) had to be assigned to one of two categories. Animals were confronted with asymmetric reinforcement schedules in which correct responses to five of the stimuli were reinforced with a probability of 0.5, while correct responses to the remaining stimulus were extinguished. The subjects’ resultant choice probabilities clearly deviated from those predicted by a maximization account. More specifically, the magnitude of the choice bias increased with the distance of the to-be-extinguished stimulus to the category boundary, a pattern opposite to that posited by maximization. The present and a previous set of results in which animals performed optimally can be explained by a simple choice mechanism in which a variable decision criterion is constantly updated according to a leaky integration of incomes attained from both response options.

Journal or Publication Title: Behavioral Processes
Volume: 96
Divisions: 03 Department Human Sciences
03 Department Human Sciences > Institute for Psychology
03 Department Human Sciences > Institute for Psychology > Models of Higher Cognition
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2018 09:22
DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2013.02.014
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2013.02.014
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