Strategy-dependent effects of working-memory limitations on human perceptual decision-making

  1. Kyra Schapiro  Is a corresponding author
  2. Krešimir Josić
  3. Zachary P Kilpatrick
  4. Joshua I Gold
  1. University of Pennsylvania, United States
  2. University of Houston, United States
  3. University of Colorado Boulder, United States

Abstract

Deliberative decisions based on an accumulation of evidence over time depend on working memory, and working memory has limitations, but how these limitations affect deliberative decision-making is not understood. We used human psychophysics to assess the impact of working-memory limitations on the fidelity of a continuous decision variable. Participants decided the average location of multiple visual targets. This computed, continuous decision variable degraded with time and capacity in a manner that depended critically on the strategy used to form the decision variable. This dependence reflected whether the decision variable was computed either: 1) immediately upon observing the evidence, and thus stored as a single value in memory; or 2) at the time of the report, and thus stored as multiple values in memory. These results provide important constraints on how the brain computes and maintains temporally dynamic decision variables.

Data availability

All analysis code is available on GitHub (https://github.com/TheGoldLab/Memory_Diffusion_Task). Data used for figures will be made available on Dryad.

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Kyra Schapiro

    Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States
    For correspondence
    kaschapiro@aol.com
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8308-0744
  2. Krešimir Josić

    Department of Mathematics, University of Houston, Houston, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Zachary P Kilpatrick

    Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2835-9416
  4. Joshua I Gold

    Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States
    Competing interests
    Joshua I Gold, Senior editor, eLife.

Funding

National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH115557)

  • Krešimir Josić
  • Zachary P Kilpatrick
  • Joshua I Gold

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

Ethics

Human subjects: The task was created with PsychoPy3 and distributed to participants via Pavlovia.com, which allowed participants to perform the task on their home computers after providing informed consent. These protocols were reviewed by the University of Pennsylvania Institutional Review Board (IRB) and determined to meet eligibility criteria for IRB review exemption authorized by 45 CFR 46.104, category 2.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Tobias H Donner, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: September 4, 2021
  2. Preprint posted: September 6, 2021 (view preprint)
  3. Accepted: March 10, 2022
  4. Accepted Manuscript published: March 15, 2022 (version 1)
  5. Accepted Manuscript updated: March 18, 2022 (version 2)
  6. Version of Record published: April 12, 2022 (version 3)

Copyright

© 2022, Schapiro 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.

Metrics

  • 736
    Page views
  • 150
    Downloads
  • 0
    Citations

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, PubMed Central, Scopus.

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

Cite this article (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

  1. Kyra Schapiro
  2. Krešimir Josić
  3. Zachary P Kilpatrick
  4. Joshua I Gold
(2022)
Strategy-dependent effects of working-memory limitations on human perceptual decision-making
eLife 11:e73610.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.73610

Further reading

    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Neuroscience
    Sergio Oscar Verduzco-Flores, Erik De Schutter
    Research Article Updated

    How dynamic interactions between nervous system regions in mammals performs online motor control remains an unsolved problem. In this paper, we show that feedback control is a simple, yet powerful way to understand the neural dynamics of sensorimotor control. We make our case using a minimal model comprising spinal cord, sensory and motor cortex, coupled by long connections that are plastic. It succeeds in learning how to perform reaching movements of a planar arm with 6 muscles in several directions from scratch. The model satisfies biological plausibility constraints, like neural implementation, transmission delays, local synaptic learning and continuous online learning. Using differential Hebbian plasticity the model can go from motor babbling to reaching arbitrary targets in less than 10 min of in silico time. Moreover, independently of the learning mechanism, properly configured feedback control has many emergent properties: neural populations in motor cortex show directional tuning and oscillatory dynamics, the spinal cord creates convergent force fields that add linearly, and movements are ataxic (as in a motor system without a cerebellum).

    1. Computational and Systems Biology
    2. Immunology and Inflammation
    Mingyao Pan, Bo Li
    Short Report Updated

    T cells are potent at eliminating pathogens and playing a crucial role in the adaptive immune response. T cell receptor (TCR) convergence describes T cells that share identical TCRs with the same amino acid sequences but have different DNA sequences due to codon degeneracy. We conducted a systematic investigation of TCR convergence using single-cell immune profiling and bulk TCRβ-sequence (TCR-seq) data obtained from both mouse and human samples and uncovered a strong link between antigen-specificity and convergence. This association was stronger than T cell expansion, a putative indicator of antigen-specific T cells. By using flow-sorted tetramer+ single T cell data, we discovered that convergent T cells were enriched for a neoantigen-specific CD8+ effector phenotype in the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, TCR convergence demonstrated better prediction accuracy for immunotherapy response than the existing TCR repertoire indexes. In conclusion, convergent T cells are likely to be antigen-specific and might be a novel prognostic biomarker for anti-cancer immunotherapy.