A comparison of bounded diffusion models for choice in time controlled tasks

J Math Psychol. 2009 Aug 1;53(4):231-241. doi: 10.1016/j.jmp.2009.03.001.


The Wiener diffusion model (WDM) for 2-alternative tasks assumes that sensory information is integrated over time. Recent neurophysiological studies have found neural correlates of this integration process in certain neuronal populations. This paper analyses the properties of the WDM with two different boundary conditions in decision making tasks in which the time of response is indicated by a cue. A dual reflecting boundary mechanism is proposed and its performance is compared with a well-established absorbing boundary in the cases of the WDM, the WDM with extensions, and the WDM with prior probability. The two types of boundary influence the dynamics of the model and introduce differential weighting of evidence. Comparisons with Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models are also done, and it is shown that the WDM with both types of boundaries achieves similar performance and produce similar fits to existing behavioural data. Further studies are proposed to distinguish which boundary mechanism is more consistent with experimental data.