Differentiating between integration and non-integration strategies in perceptual decision making

  1. Gabriel M Stine  Is a corresponding author
  2. Ariel Zylberberg
  3. Jochen Ditterich
  4. Michael N Shadlen
  1. Columbia University, United States
  2. University of Rochester, United States
  3. University of California, Davis, United States

Abstract

Many tasks used to study decision-making encourage subjects to integrate evidence over time. Such tasks are useful to understand how the brain operates on multiple samples of information over prolonged timescales, but only if subjects actually integrate evidence to form their decisions. We explored the behavioral observations that corroborate evidence-integration in a number of task-designs. Several commonly accepted signs of integration were also predicted by non-integration strategies. Furthermore, an integration model could fit data generated by non-integration models. We identified the features of non-integration models that allowed them to mimic integration and used these insights to design a motion discrimination task that disentangled the models. In human subjects performing the task, we falsified a non-integration strategy in each and confirmed prolonged integration in all but one subject. The findings illustrate the difficulty of identifying a decision-maker's strategy and support solutions to achieve this goal.

Data availability

The data generated during this study are included in the source data file for Figure 6.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Gabriel M Stine

    Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, United States
    For correspondence
    gabriel.stine@columbia.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4906-0461
  2. Ariel Zylberberg

    Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2572-4748
  3. Jochen Ditterich

    Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis, Davis, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Michael N Shadlen

    Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2002-2210

Funding

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • Ariel Zylberberg
  • Michael N Shadlen

National Eye Institute (EY011378)

  • Gabriel M Stine
  • Ariel Zylberberg
  • Michael N Shadlen

National Eye Institute (EY013933)

  • Gabriel M Stine

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS113113)

  • Gabriel M Stine
  • Ariel Zylberberg
  • Michael N Shadlen

Israel Institute for Advanced Studies

  • Michael N Shadlen

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Valentin Wyart, École normale supérieure, PSL University, INSERM, France

Ethics

Human subjects: Human subjects: The institutional review board of Columbia University (protocol #IRB-AAAL0658) approved the experimental protocol, and subjects gave written informed consent.

Version history

  1. Received: January 21, 2020
  2. Accepted: April 24, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 27, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 12, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Stine et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Gabriel M Stine
  2. Ariel Zylberberg
  3. Jochen Ditterich
  4. Michael N Shadlen
(2020)
Differentiating between integration and non-integration strategies in perceptual decision making
eLife 9:e55365.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.55365

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.55365

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