"Dissecting the reaction time: Insights into movement preparation, habits, and cognitive control"
Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Abstract: The reaction time is used ubiquitously in psychology and neuroscience as a basis for understanding the computations and processes that guide our behavior. However, the use of reaction times is inevitably indirect and depends on questionable assumptions. An alternative, more direct approach is to force participants to respond with specific imposed reaction times, and examine the resulting pattern of errors. Dissecting the reaction time in this way provides a powerful window into the computations that normally occur during the reaction time. I will show how this approach can yield fresh insights into long-studied phenomena, from basic principles of movement preparation to topics in cognition including habit formation and cognitive control.