Gepshtein S, Trommershäuser J, 2006, "Rapid decisions in face of a natural variation of visual - motor uncertainty" Perception 35 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Rapid decisions in face of a natural variation of visual - motor uncertainty
S Gepshtein, J Trommershäuser
Observers performed rapid movements towards visual configurations presented on a slanted touch-screen. The movements were from a central location to one of several concentric target locations. Each trial was initiated by touching the central location. The task was to touch the target region and avoid an adjacent penalty region within the following 600 - 700 ms. Hitting the target and penalty regions incurred positive and negative payoffs known to the observers. The shape of the distribution of landing points on the surface differed for different target locations: it was a function of both the direction of movement and surface slant. In agreement with predictions of a normative model of motor planning (Trommershäuser et al, 2003 Journal of the Optical Society of America A 20 1419 - 1433), observers adjusted their aiming strategy for each location so as to maximise the overlap of the error distribution with the target region and minimise the overlap of the error distribution with the penalty region. To do so, observers had to take into account the different shapes of error distributions at different locations. This is evidence that the nervous system can represent the multiple uncertainties that occur in the interaction with the natural environment.
[Supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Grant TR 528/1-2.]
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