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Beyond Difference in Reaction Time: Understanding Neuronal Activity during the Preparatory Period of the Decision Process
Publisher: Journals Gateway
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2021) 33 (2): 263–278.
Published: 01 February 2021
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AbstractView article PDF
Even the simplest perceptual tasks are executed with significant interindividual differences in accuracy and RT. In this work, we used the diffusion decision model and multi-electrode EEG signals to study the impact of neuronal activity during the preparatory period on the following decision process in an attention task. Two groups were defined by fast and slow responses during the performance of control trials. A third, control group performed the same experiment but with instructions defining signal for response execution. We observed that the fast-responding group had a shorter duration of nondecision processes (describing both stimulus encoding and response preparation) preceded by lower power of the frontal upper alpha (10–15 Hz) and central beta (21–26 Hz) activities during the preparatory period. To determine whether these differences were followed by a shortening of the early perceptual or late motor process, we analyzed lateralized readiness potential (LRP). The time from LRP onset until response execution (LRP-RT interval) was similar in all three groups, enabling us to interpret shortening of nondecision time as reflecting faster stimulus encoding.