The effects of evidence bounds on decision-making: Theoretical and empirical developments

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Converging findings from behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging studies suggest an integration-to-boundary mechanism governing decision formation and choice selection. This mechanism is supported by sequential sampling models of choice decisions, which can implement statistically optimal decision strategies for selecting between multiple alternative options on the basis of sensory evidence. This review focuses on recent developments in understanding the evidence boundary, an important component of decision-making raised by experimental findings and models. The article starts by reviewing the neurobiology of perceptual decisions and several influential sequential sampling models, in particular the drift-diffusion model, the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model and the leakycompetingaccumulator model. In the second part, the article examines how the boundary may affect a model's dynamics and performance and to what extent it may improve a model's fits to experimental data. In the third part, the article examines recent findings that support the presence and site of boundaries in the brain. The article considers two questions: (1) whether the boundary is a spontaneous property of neural integrators, or is controlled by dedicated neural circuits; (2) if the boundary is variable, what could be the driving factors behind boundary changes? The review brings together studies using different experimental methods in seeking answers to these questions, highlights psychological and physiological factors that may be associated with the boundary and its changes, and further considers the evidence boundary as a generic mechanism to guide complex behavior. © 2012 Zhang.

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Zhang, J. (2012). The effects of evidence bounds on decision-making: Theoretical and empirical developments. Frontiers in Psychology, 3(AUG).

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