Decision heuristics in contexts integrating action selection and execution

Dundon, Neil M., Colas, Jaron T., Garrett, Neil ORCID:, Babenko, Viktoriya, Rizor, Elizabeth, Yang, Dengxian, MacNamara, Máirtín, Petzold, Linda and Grafton, Scott T. (2023) Decision heuristics in contexts integrating action selection and execution. Scientific Reports, 13 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Heuristics can inform human decision making in complex environments through a reduction of computational requirements (accuracy-resource trade-off) and a robustness to overparameterisation (less-is-more). However, tasks capturing the efficiency of heuristics typically ignore action proficiency in determining rewards. The requisite movement parameterisation in sensorimotor control questions whether heuristics preserve efficiency when actions are nontrivial. We developed a novel action selection-execution task requiring joint optimisation of action selection and spatio-temporal skillful execution. State-appropriate choices could be determined by a simple spatial heuristic, or by more complex planning. Computational models of action selection parsimoniously distinguished human participants who adopted the heuristic from those using a more complex planning strategy. Broader comparative analyses then revealed that participants using the heuristic showed combined decisional (selection) and skill (execution) advantages, consistent with a less-is-more framework. In addition, the skill advantage of the heuristic group was predominantly in the core spatial features that also shaped their decision policy, evidence that the dimensions of information guiding action selection might be yoked to salient features in skill learning.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The research was supported by award #W911NF-16-1-0474 from the Army Research Office and by the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies under Cooperative Agreement W911NF-19-2-0026 with the Army Research Office. Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s).
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2023 11:30
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:17
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-33008-2


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