Research Topic

Single-trial analyses of behavioural and neuroimaging data in perception and decision-making

About this Research Topic

The cognitive psychology of perception and decision-making is at a cross-road. Most studies still employ categorical designs, a priori classified stimuli and perform statistical evaluations across subjects. However, a shift has been observed in recent years towards parametric designs in which the information ...

The cognitive psychology of perception and decision-making is at a cross-road. Most studies still employ categorical designs, a priori classified stimuli and perform statistical evaluations across subjects. However, a shift has been observed in recent years towards parametric designs in which the information content of stimuli is systematically manipulated to study the single-trial dynamics of behaviour (reaction times, eye movements) and brain activity (EEG, MEG, fMRI). By using the information contained in the variance of individual trials, the single-trial approach goes beyond the activity of the average brain: it reveals the specificity of information processing in individual subjects, across tasks and stimulus space, revealing both inter-individual commonalties and differences. This Research Topic provides theoretical and empirical support for the study of single-trial data.

Topics of particular interest include:

1. description of the richness of information in single-trials and how it can be successfully extracted;
2. statistical issues related to measures of central tendency, control for multiple comparisons, multivariate approaches, hierarchical modelling and characterization of individual differences;
3. how manipulation of the stimulus space can allow for a direct mapping of stimulus properties onto brain activity to infer dynamics of information processing and information content of brain states;
4. how results from different brain imaging techniques can be integrated at the single-trial level.


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