Navigation Links
Input-output trade-offs found in human information processing
Date:8/16/2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The most beautiful thing about humans, says Indiana University researcher S. Lee Hong, is that they are both ever-changing and sometimes prone to error. Yet humans are still extremely flexible and adaptable, managing the transition from one context to another almost seamlessly. His new study demonstrates how this adaptability boils down to a zero-sum game.

"There's a famous Einstein quote: 'God does not play dice.' Unfortunately, we all have to do so every day," said Hong, assistant professor in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "Humans are unpredictably variable organisms living in fundamentally unpredictable and uncertain environments. Humans are capable of adapting to different levels of uncertainty, which is quite well documented, but 'how' has been unknown up to this time."

Hong's study, published in PLoS One, involves information processing and found that human behavior is systematic, not random, demonstrating a trade-off between input and out. The study also points to limitations to information processing, Hong said.

The paper can be found at http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0011461

Hong and his co-author, Melissa R. Beck, cognitive psychology professor at Louisiana State University, studied eye movement and response times to stimuli sequences that included varying levels of uncertainty or unpredictability. When the researchers increased the uncertainty in the environment by having images on a computer monitor appear in different locations in irregular intervals, the uncertainty of study participants' scanning patterns decreased. When the "input," or the objects' appearances became more regular or predictable, the level of uncertainty of the study participants' "output," or scanning behavior increased.

Hong uses a desk as an example. If someone needs to find a note on a desk with little clutter, his search need not be thorough. He can effectively glance around the desk to find what he wants. If the desk is messy or contains many papers and other objects, his search will need to be more systematic to find what he is looking for to make sure he hasn't missed anything. If he ransacked the desk in a random fashion, it likely would take longer to find the note.

"These exchanges are pretty much equal and opposite, much like the laws of the conservation of momentum and energy," Hong said. "More importantly, it seems that the human organism is fundamentally in tune with patterns of uncertainty, evolved, maybe. It's definitely a question for the future."

The study involved 29 college students. They generated repeated responses to a continuous series of visual stimuli presented on a computer monitor. As soon as a target was detected, they pressed a keypad. The researchers manipulated where and when the targets would appear. The more uncertain the time and place of the stimulus, the more systematic the visual search strategy was. On the other hand, their response times became much more unpredictable. The most interesting finding, said Hong, was that the changes in uncertainty of the eye movements were a virtual mirror image of the changes in uncertainty in the response times.

"The results show that the subjects adapted their visual search behavior to adjust to the different levels of stimulus uncertainty," the authors wrote in their paper.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracy James
traljame@indiana.edu
812-855-0084
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. One-third of antimalarial medicines sampled in 3 African nations found to be substandard
2. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million to Drive Critical New Research Tools and Technologies in Parkinsons Drug Development
3. Highmark Foundation Awards $120,000 to the American Heart Association
4. Stuttering Foundation Hails New Research
5. Autism Science Foundation Offers IMFAR Grants to Autism Stakeholders
6. Alzheimers Foundation of America Applauds Social Security for Speeding Disability Benefits for Early-Onset Alzheimers Disease
7. Corbett Accel Healthcare Group Mourns Passing of Founder Frank J. Corbett
8. Reliv Foundation Donates $450,000 In Nutritional Supplements to Haitian Relief Efforts
9. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Report Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Results
10. Instaflex Announces Proceeds Agreement with Arthritis Foundation
11. AMERICAN IDOL to Benefit the UN Foundation Fund for Haiti Thursday, February 25, on FOX
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Input-output trade-offs found in human information processing
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... Flottman ... and outserts. As a means of expanding capabilities Flottman has added a ... to individually code professional inserts (PIs) and patient package inserts (PPIs) that will ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... , ... December 09, 2016 , ... An inventor from ... to safely ride all types of amusement park rides. , The patent-pending SAFETY STRAP ... is easy to use and could be set up in a matter of minutes, ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... "I had a terrible time trying ... Va. "I thought that if the nebulizer had a more child-friendly design, then children ... , He developed the patent-pending NEBY to avoid the need to deliver medication via ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) officially opened registration today for its 33rd ... Hotel in Boston, MA . , The theme of the conference is “Persistent ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... offering Medication Therapy Management (MTM), adherence, and other pharmacist-delivered patient care services, has ... general counsel and Eric Hoessel to vice president of sales. , Litsinger ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... , Dec 9, 2016 Research ... Screening Market - Forecast to 2021" report to their ... ... of open innovative models in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry ... and rising government funding. Emerging markets and growing research activities ...
(Date:12/9/2016)...  RxWiki Inc., a digital health company that powers ... thousands of pharmacies through its Digital Pharmacist SaaS platform, ... "50 on Fire" Award in the Health and Life ... the award as one of Austin,s fastest growing companies," ... RxWiki. "Our platform gives independent retail pharmacies the digital ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... , Dec. 9, 2016  Forge Therapeutics, ... AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) ... ,LpxC, for the treatment of bacterial infections including ... been recognized as an attractive antibacterial target for ... lack of suitable chemical starting points has hampered ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: