December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Neurobiologically inspired robotics model: Underlying mechanisms for target selection biases from a recent experience of goal-directed action
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Fan Zhang
    University of Birmingham
  • Mukesh Makwana
    Brown University
  • Joo-Hyun Song
    Brown University
  • Dietmar Heinke
    University of Birmingham
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This project is funded by the grant NSF BCS 1849169 to Dr. Joo-Hyun Song and the grant ES/T002409/1 to Dr. Dietmar Heinke.
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 3346. doi:
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      Fan Zhang, Mukesh Makwana, Joo-Hyun Song, Dietmar Heinke; Neurobiologically inspired robotics model: Underlying mechanisms for target selection biases from a recent experience of goal-directed action. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):3346.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Selection history has influenced behavioral performance independent of top-down-goal and bottom-up-saliency. However, the precise contribution of underlying processes like target facilitation and distractor inhibition for goal-directed reaching action is unclear. To better understand how the selection impacts the current target selection, we extended a neurobiologically inspired robotics model (CoRLEGO; Strauss et al., 2015) and evaluated the five alternative hypotheses. We built the model exclusively driven by the history of target facilitation (Model 1) or distractor inhibition (Model 2). Then, we also considered the involvement of both target facilitation and distractor inhibition history with different temporal coordination: simultaneous co-activation (Model 3), the activation transition from early inhibition to late facilitation (Model 4), and early facilitation to late inhibition (Model 5). To test the five models, we conducted a continuous reach-tracking experiment where participants were asked to reach an odd-colored target among three homogeneous distractors. The selection history was manipulated by the repetition and/or switch of a target and distractor color across trials (i.e., priming of pop-out effects (PoP)). As it is well-known that reaches reflect how the dynamics of target selection is influenced by the selection history, we evaluated the model by comparing its reaches with the participants’ whole reaching trajectories. This numerical comparison showed that both target facilitation and distractor suppression history contribute to history-driven selection biases (Models 3-5). Among these three models, the most neurobiologically plausible selection mechanism is provided by Model 4. The history of inhibited distractor and facilitated target selection in sequence modulates the current selection behavior. Based on the combination of the neurobiologically plausible mechanisms and empirical data, we provided converging evidence, supporting the fact that both history of target facilitation and distractor suppression significantly impact current selection behavior. It also appears to be that recent distractor inhibition guides selection behavior earlier.


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