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Human decision-making almost always takes place under time pressure. When people are engaged in activities such as shopping, driving, or playing chess, they have to continually balance the demands for fast decisions against the demands for accurate decisions. In the cognitive sciences, this balance is thought to be modulated by a response threshold, the(More)
To successfully interact with objects in the environment, sensory evidence must be continuously acquired, interpreted, and used to guide appropriate motor responses. For example, when driving, a red light should motivate a motor command to depress the brake pedal. Single-unit recording studies have established that simple sensorimotor transformations are(More)
PRIOR INFORMATION BIASES THE DECISION PROCESS: actions consistent with prior information are executed swiftly, whereas actions inconsistent with prior information are executed slowly. How is this bias implemented in the brain? To address this question we conducted an experiment in which people had to decide quickly whether a cloud of dots moved coherently(More)
When people make decisions they often face opposing demands for response speed and response accuracy, a process likely mediated by response thresholds. According to the striatal hypothesis, people decrease response thresholds by increasing activation from cortex to striatum, releasing the brain from inhibition. According to the STN hypothesis, people(More)
Almost all models of response time (RT) use a stochastic accumulation process. To account for the benchmark RT phenomena, researchers have found it necessary to include between-trial variability in the starting point and/or the rate of accumulation, both in linear (R. Ratcliff & J. N. Rouder, 1998) and nonlinear (M. Usher & J. L. McClelland, 2001) models.(More)
Although it is generally accepted that the spread of a response time (RT) distribution increases with the mean, the precise nature of this relation remains relatively unexplored. The authors show that in several descriptive RT distributions, the standard deviation increases linearly with the mean. Results from a wide range of tasks from different(More)
Even in the simplest laboratory tasks older adults generally take more time to respond than young adults. One of the reasons for this age-related slowing is that older adults are reluctant to commit errors, a cautious attitude that prompts them to accumulate more information before making a decision (Rabbitt, 1979). This suggests that age-related slowing(More)
When people make decisions quickly, accuracy suffers. Traditionally, speed-accuracy tradeoffs (SATs) have been almost exclusively ascribed to changes in the amount of sensory evidence required to support a response ("response caution") and the neural correlates associated with the later stages of decision making (e.g., motor response generation and(More)
The most powerful tests of response time (RT) models often involve the whole shape of the RT distribution, thus avoiding mimicking that can occur at the level of RT means and variances. Nonparametric distribution estimation is, in principle, the most appropriate approach, but such estimators are sometimes difficult to obtain. On the other hand, distribution(More)
Investigations of decision making have typically assumed stationarity, even though commonly observed "context effects" are dynamic by definition. Mirror effects are an important class of context effects that can be explained by changes in participants' decision criteria. When easy and difficult conditions are blocked alternately and a mirror effect is(More)