The influence of spatial and temporal context on information integration during human decision-making. (360G-Wellcome-099741_Z_12_Z)
Decisions often require integration of information from different sources. Integration and choice are shaped by the temporal and spatial context in whichinformation occurs. We propose a series of experiments involving behavioural and neurophysiological recordings that are aimed at characterising these contextual influences and pinpointing their neural substrates. The proposed experiments involve a new paradigm (the 'two streams' task) in which discretesamples of information are presented in two parallel streams, after which participants judge the relative information provided by each stream. Coupled with high-resolution imaging methods such as electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and with formal modelling of the decision process, this will allow us to characterise how the processing of each new sample of information is modulated by information presented beforehand (temporal context) and in the opposing stream (spatial context). Neural recordings will allow us to identifythe brain regions were information processing is modulated, with a focus on the parietal and medial prefrontal cortices. We hypothesise that contextual influences on information integration arise from well-described phenomena in the cognitive science literature, such as perceptual priming, spatial attention, and conflict monitoring and resolution, and give rise to suboptimalbiases in decision-making.
£159,340 25 Jun 2012