A neural mechanism of speed-accuracy tradeoff in macaque area LIP

Timothy D. Hanks, Roozbeh Kiani, Michael N. Shadlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Decision making often involves a tradeoff between speed and accuracy. Previous studies indicate that neural activity in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) represents the gradual accumulation of evidence toward a threshold level, or evidence bound, which terminates the decision process. The level of this bound is hypothesized to mediate the speed-accuracy tradeoff. To test this, we recorded from LIP while monkeys performed a motion discrimination task in two speed-accuracy regimes. Surprisingly, the terminating threshold levels of neural activity were similar in both regimes. However, neurons recorded in the faster regime exhibited stronger evidence-independent activation from the beginning of decision formation, effectively reducing the evidence-dependent neural modulation needed for choice commitment. Our results suggest that control of speed versus accuracy may be exerted through changes in decision-related neural activity itself rather than through changes in the threshold applied to such neural activity to terminate a decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02260
JournaleLife
Volume2014
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 27 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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