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Viola Mocz, Yaoda Xu; Decision-making from temporally accumulated conflicting evidence: The more the merrier. Journal of Vision 2023;23(1):3. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.23.1.3.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
How do humans evaluate temporally accumulated discrete pieces of evidence and arrive at a decision despite the presence of conflicting evidence? In the present study, we showed human participants a sequential presentation of objects drawn from two novel object categories and asked them to decide whether a given presentation contained more objects from one or the other category. We found that both a more disparate ratio and greater numerosity of objects improved both reaction time (RT) and accuracy. The effect of numerosity was separate from ratio, where with a fixed object ratio, sequences with more total objects had lower RT and lower error rates than those with fewer total objects. We replicated these results across three experiments. Additionally, even with the total presentation duration equated and with the motor response assignment varied from trial to trial, an effect of numerosity was still found in RT. The same RT benefit was also present when objects were shown simultaneously, rather than sequentially. Together, these results showed that, for comparative numerosity judgment involving sequential displays, there was a benefit of numerosity, such that showing more objects independent of the object ratio and the total presentation time led to faster decision performance.
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