Confidence as a diagnostic tool for perceptual aftereffects

Regan M. Gallagher, Thomas Suddendorf, Derek H. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Perceptual judgements are, by nature, a product both of sensation and the cognitive processes responsible for interpreting and reporting subjective experiences. Changed perceptual judgements may thus result from changes in how the world appears (perception), or subsequent interpretation (judgement). This ambiguity has led to persistent debates about how to interpret changes in decision-making, and if higher-order cognitions can change how the world looks, or sounds, or feels. Here we introduce an approach that can help resolve these ambiguities. In three motion-direction experiments, we measured perceptual judgements and subjective confidence. We show that each measure is sensitive to sensory information and can index sensory adaptation. Each measure is also sensitive to decision biases, but response bias impacts the central tendency of decision and confidence distributions differently. Our findings show that subjective confidence, when measured in addition to perceptual decisions, can supply important diagnostic information about the cause of aftereffects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7124
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

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