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The leaky integrating threshold and its impact on evidence accumulation models of choice response time (RT)

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

A common assumption in choice response time (RT) modeling is that after evidence accumulation reaches a certain decision threshold, the choice is categorically communicated to the motor system that then executes the response. However, neurophysiological findings suggest that motor preparation partly overlaps with evidence accumulation, and is not independent from stimulus difficulty level. We propose to model this entanglement by changing the nature of the decision criterion from a simple threshold to an actual process. More specifically, we propose a secondary, motor preparation related, leaky accumulation process that takes the accumulated evidence of the original decision process as a continuous input, and triggers the actual response when it reaches its own threshold. We analytically develop this Leaky Integrating Threshold (LIT), applying it to a simple constant drift diffusion model, and show how its parameters can be estimated with the D*M method. Reanalyzing 3 different data sets, the LIT extension is shown to outperform a standard drift diffusion model using multiple statistical approaches. Further, the LIT leak parameter is shown to be better at explaining the speed/accuracy trade-off manipulation than the commonly used boundary separation parameter. These improvements can also be verified using traditional diffusion model analyses, for which the LIT predicts the violation of several common selective parameter influence assumptions. These predictions are consistent with what is found in the data and with what is reported experimentally in the literature. Crucially, this work offers a new benchmark against which to compare neural data to offer neurobiological validation for the proposed processes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Tijdschrift: Psychological Review
ISSN: 0033-295X
Issue: 2
Volume: 128
Pagina's: 203 - 221
Jaar van publicatie:2021