Host: Prof. Aihua Chen, East China Normal University
Perceptual decisions are accompanied by a degree of confidence, defined as a graded estimate of the probability of being correct. Confidence plays a key role in flexible behavior and has long been a pillar of psychophysical theories, yet its neurophysiological basis remains obscure. In my lab we seek to reconcile the empirical complexity of sensory and decision-related neural activity with theoretical accounts that unify choice, reaction time (RT), and confidence under a common framework. Here I will present our preliminary efforts to dissect the contributions of visual area MT to behavior in a combined choice-RT-wagering task, both across the direction map (using multi-contact probes) and as a function of time. I will also present behavioral results from a multisensory version of the task designed to probe the linkage between confidence and another classic manifestation of sensory uncertainty: the weighting of cues by their relative reliability. The results support a complicated picture in which a common evidence accumulation mechanism can explain most behavioral observations, but which nevertheless generates paradoxical correlations between MT activity and decision confidence.
Dr. Fetsch is an Assistant Professor in the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience and Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his PhD in Neuroscience in 2009 at Washington University in St. Louis working with Greg DeAngelis and Dora Angelaki, followed by postdoctoral training in the lab of Mike Shadlen (U. of Washington & Columbia University). He joined the faculty at Hopkins in 2017.