Purchase this article with an account.
Florian Kattner, Aaron Cochrane, C. Shawn Green; Trial-dependent psychometric functions accounting for perceptual learning in 2-AFC discrimination tasks. Journal of Vision 2017;17(11):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.11.3.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
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.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only