Visual detection of time-varying signals: Opposing biases and their timescales

Autoři: Urit Gordon aff001;  Shimon Marom aff001;  Naama Brenner aff002
Působiště autorů: Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel aff001;  Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel aff002;  Network Biology Research Lab, Lorry Lockey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Science and Engineering, Technion, Haifa, Israel aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224256


Human visual perception is a complex, dynamic and fluctuating process. In addition to the incoming visual stimulus, it is affected by many other factors including temporal context, both external and internal to the observer. In this study we investigate the dynamic properties of psychophysical responses to a continuous stream of visual near-threshold detection tasks. We manipulate the incoming signals to have temporal structures with various characteristic timescales. Responses of human observers to these signals are analyzed using tools that highlight their dynamical features as well. Our experiments show two opposing biases that shape perceptual decision making simultaneously: positive recency, biasing towards repeated response; and adaptation, entailing an increased probability of changed response. While both these effects have been reported in previous work, our results shed new light on the timescales involved in these effects, and on their interplay with varying inputs. We find that positive recency is a short-term bias, inversely correlated with response time, suggesting it can be compensated by afterthought. Adaptation, in contrast, reflects trends over longer times possibly including multiple previous trials. Our entire dataset, which includes different input signal temporal structures, is consistent with a simple model with the two biases characterized by a fixed parameter set. These results suggest that perceptual biases are inherent features which are not flexible to tune to input signals.

Klíčová slova:

Conditioned response – Curve fitting – Decision making – Experimental design – Psychometrics – Psychophysics – Sensory perception – Vision


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11