Sims, C. R. & Gray,W. D. (2008)

Sims, C. R., & Gray, W. D. (2008). Adaptation to embodied dynamics: evidence from Bayes’ ball. In V. Sloutsky, B. Love & K. McRae (Eds.), 30th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Adaptation to embodied dynamics: evidence from Bayes’ ball

In recent years researchers have begun to recognize the re- markable intelligence of even routine interactive behavior— the extent to which humans adapt to and exploit the low-level dynamics of cognitive processes, perception, and motor con- trol without conscious deliberation. We developed an experi- ment known as Bayes’ Ball, in which subjects must estimate short time intervals (< 1000 ms) in order to maximize a point score in a simple ball tracking task. Optimal performance in this task requires that subjects possess intricate knowledge of the dynamics of uncertainty in their estimates of elapsed time (the Weber law of interval timing). The results of our experi- ment show human performance that approaches, but does not fully match the predictions of an ideal performer. On average, humans differed from the ideal performer by less than 40 ms in their response timing.

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