Zooming Into Neural Mechanisms Of Decision Confidence Through The Lens Of EEG
MetadataShow full item record
Neural mechanisms responsible for feelings of certainty in reasoning and decision-making remain unclear. This thesis attempts to address this problem by examining the role of error-related EEG potentials (error-related negativity - ERN, error positivity - Pe) in decision confidence. The amplitude of these potentials has been shown to correlate with error detection and confidence ratings in simple perceptual decisions. In order to test whether this pattern holds in more complex decisions, we investigated activity changes in ERN and Pe in response to manipulations of decision confidence in an arithmetic reasoning task. In an EEG experiment, 49 participants had to quickly respond whether an equation (e.g. 9 * 7 = 65) is correct or incorrect and then report their decision confidence. Task difficulty and response fluency were varied as manipulations of confidence. The results indicated that ERN and Pe did not mediate the effect of task difficulty on confidence. Response fluency impacted confidence only for simple decisions, and this effect was partially mediated by ERN. These results suggest that Pe could be an index of implicit cognitive control, whereas ERN tracks decision confidence in simple decisions and is susceptible to response fluency manipulations.
The following license files are associated with this item: