Sources of noise during accumulation of evidence in unrestrained and voluntarily head-restrained rats.

TitleSources of noise during accumulation of evidence in unrestrained and voluntarily head-restrained rats.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsScott, BB, Constantinople, CM, Erlich, JC, Tank, DW, Brody, CD
JournalElife
Volume4
Paginatione11308
Date Published2015 Dec 17
ISSN2050-084X
KeywordsAnimals, Cognition, Decision Making, Models, Neurological, Rats
Abstract

<p>Decision-making behavior is often characterized by substantial variability, but its source remains unclear. We developed a visual accumulation of evidence task designed to quantify sources of noise and to be performed during voluntary head restraint, enabling cellular resolution imaging in future studies. Rats accumulated discrete numbers of flashes presented to the left and right visual hemifields and indicated the side that had the greater number of flashes. Using a signal-detection theory-based model, we found that the standard deviation in their internal estimate of flash number scaled linearly with the number of flashes. This indicates a major source of noise that, surprisingly, is not consistent with the widely used 'drift-diffusion modeling' (DDM) approach but is instead closely related to proposed models of numerical cognition and counting. We speculate that this form of noise could be important in accumulation of evidence tasks generally.</p>

DOI10.7554/eLife.11308
Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID26673896
PubMed Central IDPMC4749559
Grant List5F32NS78913 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
R21NS082956 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
U01 NS090541 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
U01NS090541 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
/ / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States