Prior expectations facilitate metacognition for perceptual decision

Sherman, M T, Seth, A K, Barrett, A B and Kanai, R (2015) Prior expectations facilitate metacognition for perceptual decision. Consciousness and Cognition, 35. pp. 53-65. ISSN 1053-8100

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Abstract

The influential framework of ‘predictive processing’ suggests that prior probabilistic expectations influence, or even constitute, perceptual contents. This notion is evidenced by the facilitation of low-level perceptual processing by expectations. However, whether expectations can facilitate high-level components of perception remains unclear. We addressed this question by considering the influence of expectations on perceptual metacognition. To isolate the effects of expectation from those of attention we used a novel factorial design: expectation was manipulated by changing the probability that a Gabor target would be presented; attention was manipulated by instructing participants to perform or ignore a concurrent visual search task. We found that, independently of attention, metacognition improved when yes/no responses were congruent with expectations of target presence/absence. Results were modeled under a novel Bayesian signal detection theoretic framework which integrates bottom-up signal propagation with top-down influences, to provide a unified description of the mechanisms underlying perceptual decision and metacognition.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Metacognition; Expectation; Decision making; Perceptual confidence; Attention
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: Marianne Cole
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2015 12:42
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 12:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56143
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