Data_Sheet_1_Quantifying Motor Task Performance by Bounded Rational Decision Theory.pdf (3.47 MB)

Data_Sheet_1_Quantifying Motor Task Performance by Bounded Rational Decision Theory.pdf

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posted on 14.12.2018 by Sonja Schach, Sebastian Gottwald, Daniel A. Braun

Expected utility models are often used as a normative baseline for human performance in motor tasks. However, this baseline ignores computational costs that are incurred when searching for the optimal strategy. In contrast, bounded rational decision-theory provides a normative baseline that takes computational effort into account, as it describes optimal behavior of an agent with limited information-processing capacity to change a prior motor strategy (before information-processing) into a posterior strategy (after information-processing). Here, we devised a pointing task where subjects had restricted reaction and movement time. In particular, we manipulated the permissible reaction time as a proxy for the amount of computation allowed for planning the movements. Moreover, we tested three different distributions over the target locations to induce different prior strategies that would influence the amount of required information-processing. We found that movement endpoint precision generally decreases with limited planning time and that non-uniform prior probabilities allow for more precise movements toward high-probability targets. Considering these constraints in a bounded rational decision model, we found that subjects were generally close to bounded optimal. We conclude that bounded rational decision theory may be a promising normative framework to analyze human sensorimotor performance.