Risk-sensitivity and the mean-variance trade-off: decision making in sensorimotor control.
Summary of "Risk-sensitivity and the mean-variance trade-off: decision making in sensorimotor control."
Numerous psychophysical studies suggest that the sensorimotor system chooses actions that optimize the average cost associated with a movement. Recently, however, violations of this hypothesis have been reported in line with economic theories of decision-making that not only consider the mean payoff, but are also sensitive to risk, that is the variability of the payoff. Here, we examine the hypothesis that risk-sensitivity in sensorimotor control arises as a mean-variance trade-off in movement costs. We designed a motor task in which participants could choose between a sure motor action that resulted in a fixed amount of effort and a risky motor action that resulted in a variable amount of effort that could be either lower or higher than the fixed effort. By changing the mean effort of the risky action while experimentally fixing its variance, we determined indifference points at which participants chose equiprobably between the sure, fixed amount of effort option and the risky, variable effort option. Depending on whether participants accepted a variable effort with a mean that was higher, lower or equal to the fixed effort, they could be classified as risk-seeking, risk-averse or risk-neutral. Most subjects were risk-sensitive in our task consistent with a mean-variance trade-off in effort, thereby, underlining the importance of risk-sensitivity in computational models of sensorimotor control.
Computational and Biological Learning Lab, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21208966
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2518
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Decision Support Techniques
Mathematical or statistical procedures used as aids in making a decision. They are frequently used in medical decision-making.
Decision Making, Computer-assisted
Use of an interactive computer system designed to assist the physician or other health professional in choosing between certain relationships or variables for the purpose of making a diagnostic or therapeutic decision.
The process of making a selective intellectual judgment when presented with several complex alternatives consisting of several variables, and usually defining a course of action or an idea.
Decision Support Systems, Clinical
Computer-based information systems used to integrate clinical and patient information and provide support for decision-making in patient care.
A graphic device used in decision analysis, series of decision options are represented as branches (hierarchical).
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