Evidence Accumulation and Choice Maintenance Are Dissociated in Human Perceptual Decision Making


Perceptual decision making in monkeys relies on decision neurons, which accumulate evidence and maintain choices until a response is given. In humans, several brain regions have been proposed to accumulate evidence, but it is unknown if these regions also maintain choices. To test if accumulator regions in humans also maintain decisions we compared delayed and self-paced responses during a face/house discrimination decision making task. Computational modeling and fMRI results revealed dissociated processes of evidence accumulation and decision maintenance, with potential accumulator activations found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, right inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral insula. Potential maintenance activation spanned the frontal pole, temporal gyri, precuneus and the lateral occipital and frontal orbital cortices. Results of a quantitative reverse inference meta-analysis performed to differentiate the functions associated with the identified regions did not narrow down potential accumulation regions, but suggested that response-maintenance might rely on a verbalization of the response.

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Guido Biele
Guido Biele

My research interests include statistical and cognitive modeling around ADHD.