RT Journal Article
A1 Kattner, Florian
A1 Cochrane, Aaron
A1 Green, C. Shawn
T1 Trial-dependent psychometric functions accounting for perceptual learning in 2-AFC discrimination tasks
JF Journal of Vision
JO Journal of Vision
YR 2017
DO 10.1167/17.11.3
VO 17
IS 11
SP 3
OP 3
SN 1534-7362
AB The majority of theoretical models of learning consider learning to be a continuous function of experience. However, most perceptual learning studies use thresholds estimated by fitting psychometric functions to independent blocks, sometimes then fitting a parametric function to these block-wise estimated thresholds. Critically, such approaches tend to violate the basic principle that learning is continuous through time (e.g., by aggregating trials into large “blocks” for analysis that each assume stationarity, then fitting learning functions to these aggregated blocks). To address this discrepancy between base theory and analysis practice, here we instead propose fitting a parametric function to thresholds from each individual trial. In particular, we implemented a dynamic psychometric function whose parameters were allowed to change continuously with each trial, thus parameterizing nonstationarity. We fit the resulting continuous time parametric model to data from two different perceptual learning tasks. In nearly every case, the quality of the fits derived from the continuous time parametric model outperformed the fits derived from a nonparametric approach wherein separate psychometric functions were fit to blocks of trials. Because such a continuous trial-dependent model of perceptual learning also offers a number of additional advantages (e.g., the ability to extrapolate beyond the observed data; the ability to estimate performance on individual critical trials), we suggest that this technique would be a useful addition to each psychophysicist's analysis toolkit.
RD 2/23/2020
UL https://doi.org/10.1167/17.11.3