We investigate a question relevant to the psychology and neuroscience of perceptual decision-making: whether decisions are based on steadily accumulating evidence, or only on the most recent evidence. We report an empirical comparison between two of the most prominent examples of these theoretical positions, the diffusion model and the urgency-gating model, via model-based qualitative and quantitative comparisons. Our findings support the predictions of the diffusion model over the urgency-gating model, and therefore, the notion that evidence accumulates without much decay. Gross qualitative patterns and fine structural details of the data are inconsistent with the notion that decisions are based only on the most recent evidence. More generally, we discuss some strengths and weaknesses of scientific methods that investigate quantitative models by distilling the formal models to qualitative predictions.
- SEQUENTIAL SAMPLING MODELS
- EVIDENCE ACCUMULATION