Separable neural signatures of confidence during perceptual decisions

Perceptual confidence is an evaluation of the validity of perceptual decisions. While there is behavioural evidence that confidence evaluation differs from perceptual decision-making, disentangling these two processes remains a challenge at the neural level. Here, we examined the electrical brain activity of human participants in a protracted perceptual decision-making task where observers tend to commit to perceptual decisions early whilst continuing to monitor sensory evidence for evaluating confidence. Premature decision commitments were revealed by patterns of spectral power overlying motor cortex, followed by an attenuation of the neural representation of perceptual decision evidence. A distinct neural representation was associated with the computation of confidence, with sources localised in the superior parietal and orbitofrontal cortices. In agreement with a dissociation between perception and confidence, these neural resources were recruited even after observers committed to their perceptual decisions, and thus delineate an integral neural circuit for evaluating perceptual decision confidence.
Source: eLife - Category: Biomedical Science Tags: Neuroscience Source Type: research