Thursday, April 4, 2013
Beckman Behavioral Biology 24
Behavioral Social Neuroscience Seminar
Decision Making in a Physical World of Bodies, Action and Objects
Scott Grafton, Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara
Decision making research is dominated by experiments manipulating uncertainty of evidence or tradeoffs in risk and reward. For an embodied system such as a person, an additional question is how the cost, precision or timing of executing a physical action with a body influences decision making. I will present examples where the physical plant influences decision making. For example, what action to select is placed on hold until an effector to perform the action is selected. This account differs from current models arguing that the brain simultaneously plans multiple actions (a form of decision making) by simultaneous parallel processing. In another example, merely having a physical body can profoundly influence perceptual decision making. A visual stimulus that looks like a hand creates multi-sensory binding with the proprioceptive representation of the decider, fundamentally altering the decision making process.