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Giovanni Mancuso, Gijs Plomp; Neural dynamics of cue reliability in perceptual decisions. Journal of Vision 2020;20(8):23. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.8.23.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To extract meaningful information from scenes, the visual system must combine local cues that can vary greatly in their degree of reliability. Here, we asked whether cue reliability mostly affects visual or decision-related processes, using visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and a model-based approach to identify when and where stimulus-evoked brain activity reflects cue reliability. Participants performed a shape discrimination task on Gaborized ellipses, while we parametrically and independently, varied the reliability of contour or surface cues. We modeled the expected behavioral performance as a linear function of cue reliability and established at what latencies and electrodes VEP activity reflected behavioral sensitivity to cue reliability. We found that VEPs were linearly related to the individual behavioral predictors at around 400 ms post-stimulus, at electrodes over parietal and lateral temporal cortex. The observed cue reliability effects were similar for variations in contour and surface cues. Notably, effects of cue reliability were absent at earlier latencies where visual shape information is typically reported, and also in data time-locked to the behavioral response, suggesting the effects are not decision-related. These results indicate that reliability of visual cues is reflected in late distributed perceptual processes.
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