Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
Personal tools
Log in

BCCN AG-Seminar

Tuesday, 06.02.2007 16 c.t.

Decision Making and Movement Planning under Risk

by Dr. Julia Trommershäuser
from Abteilung Allgemeine Psychologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen


Seminarraum Haus 2, 4. Stock (Bunsenstr.)


I present research that combines theoretical and experimental methods to investigate visuo-motor strategies during the planning and execution of goal-directed movements under risk. In our experiments, we study human movement planning in environments where there are explicit gains and losses associated with the outcomes of actions and compare human performance to a model of optimal performance based on statistical decision theory. The model comprises approaches of motor control, statistical and Bayesian decision theory and is based on the idea that goal-directed movements reflect a subject's choice under the constraints of the perceptual and motor system. I will present several experimental tests of the model. In these experiments, subjects effectively acted so as to maximize gain, in good agreement with predictions of the model. Our experiments further demonstrate that subjects are able to modify their movement strategies to maximize expected gain in response to changes in response variability, reward, penalty, and object locations. Optimal performance can be disrupted by introducing uncertainty to the presentation of reward, penalty or object location.

back to overview