Temporal motor dynamics in inductive reasoning


We investigated the temporal dynamics of response choice in a decision-making task by examining the evolving implicit responses indicated by hand movements made before an explicit response is selected. Participants (N=31) judged which of two cars would go faster when the underlying rule was plausible or implausible and when two response choices differed with respect to one or two causal variables. Participants completed 300 trials in five blocks. We found an interaction between trial type, block, and plausibility of rule. In earlier trials in the implausible rule condition, there was greater deviation towards the distracter response before selecting the correct response. Participants given implausible rules demonstrated less activation of competing representations over time as they induced the underlying rules, particularly on trials in which response choices differed on both causal variables. Mouse trajectories did not change across blocks for participants given the plausible rule, suggesting they learned the rule early.

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