Secondary motor integration as a final arbiter in sensorimotor decision-making

Balsdon, T., Verdonck, S., Loossens, T. and Philiastides, M. G. (2023) Secondary motor integration as a final arbiter in sensorimotor decision-making. PLoS Biology, (doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3002200) (PMID:37459392) (Early Online Publication)

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Sensorimotor decision-making is believed to involve a process of accumulating sensory evidence over time. While current theories posit a single accumulation process prior to planning an overt motor response, here, we propose an active role of motor processes in decision formation via a secondary leaky motor accumulation stage. The motor leak adapts the “memory” with which this secondary accumulator reintegrates the primary accumulated sensory evidence, thus adjusting the temporal smoothing in the motor evidence and, correspondingly, the lag between the primary and motor accumulators. We compare this framework against different single accumulator variants using formal model comparison, fitting choice, and response times in a task where human observers made categorical decisions about a noisy sequence of images, under different speed–accuracy trade-off instructions. We show that, rather than boundary adjustments (controlling the amount of evidence accumulated for decision commitment), adjustment of the leak in the secondary motor accumulator provides the better description of behavior across conditions. Importantly, we derive neural correlates of these 2 integration processes from electroencephalography data recorded during the same task and show that these neural correlates adhere to the neural response profiles predicted by the model. This framework thus provides a neurobiologically plausible description of sensorimotor decision-making that captures emerging evidence of the active role of motor processes in choice behavior.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Philiastides, Professor Marios and Balsdon, Dr Tarryn
Creator Roles:
Balsdon, T.Data curation, Formal analysis, Methodology, Software, Validation, Visualization, Writing – review and editing
Philiastides, M. G.Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Software, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Balsdon, T., Verdonck, S., Loossens, T., and Philiastides, M. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:PLoS Biology
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1545-7885
Published Online:17 July 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 Balsdon et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS Biology 21(7): e3002200
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
170631Neural correlates of learning and confidence during decision making and their utility in developing "intelligent technologies".Marios PhiliastidesEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/L012995/1Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging