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    Action biases perceptual decisions towards expected outcomes

    Yon, Daniel and Zainzinger, Vanessa and de Lange, F. and Eimer, Martin and Press, Clare (2021) Action biases perceptual decisions towards expected outcomes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 150 (6), pp. 1225-1236. ISSN 0096-3445.

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    We predict how our actions will influence the world around us. Prevailing models in the action control literature propose that we use these predictions to suppress or ‘cancel’ perception of expected action outcomes, to highlight more informative surprising events. However, contrasting normative Bayesian models in sensory cognition suggest that we are more, not less, likely to perceive what we expect–given that what we expect is more likely to occur. Here we adjudicated between these models by investigating how expectations influence perceptual decisions about action outcomes in a signal detection paradigm. Across three experiments, participants performed one of two manual actions that were sometimes accompanied by brief presentation of expected or unexpected visual outcomes.Contrary to dominant cancellation models but consistent with Bayesian accounts, we found that observers were biased to report the presence of expected action outcomes. There were no effects of expectation on sensitivity. Computational modelling revealed that the action-induced bias reflected a sensory bias in how evidence was accumulated rather than a baseline shift in decision circuits. Expectation effects remained in Experiments 2 and 3 when orthogonal cues indicated which finger was more likely to be probed (i.e.,task-relevant). These biases towards perceiving expected action outcomes are suggestive of a mechanism that would enable generation of largely veridical representations of our actions and their consequences in an inherently uncertain sensory world.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ©American Psychological Association 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at the DOI cited above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Neuroimaging, Birkbeck-UCL Centre for (BUCNI)
    Depositing User: Clare Press
    Date Deposited: 28 May 2020 14:01
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:00


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