Optimal performance in a countermanding saccade task

KongFatt Wong-Lin, Philip Eckhoff, Philip Holmes, Jonathan Cohen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Countermanding an action is a fundamental form of cognitive control. In a saccade countermanding task, subjects are instructed that, if a stop signal appears shortly after atarget, they are to maintain fixation rather than to make a saccade to the target. In recentyears, recordings in the frontal eye fields and superior colliculus of behaving non-humanprimates have found correlates of such countermanding behavior in movement and fixationneurons. In this work, we extend a previous neural network model of countermanding toaccount for the high pre-target activity of fixation neurons. We propose that this activityreflects the functioning of control mechanisms responsible for optimizing performance. Wedemonstrate, using computer simulations and mathematical analysis, that pre-targetfixation neuronal activity supports countermanding behavior that maximizes reward rateas a function of the stop signal delay, fraction of stop signal trials, intertrial interval,duration of timeout, and relative reward value. We propose experiments to test thesepredictions regarding optimal behavior.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)178-187
    JournalBrain Research
    Volume1318
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2010

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