Consensus goals for the field of visual metacognition (preprint)

Noting that the field of visual metacognition lacks clear consensus goals, Doby Rahnev (Georgia Tech), gathered researchers working in the field to discuss medium and long-term goals for the field. During long an intense virtual meetings, we discussed the big questions we think the field should address, and subsequently wrote a paper about these goals (preprint). The hope is that by explicitly spelling out these goals, the field will make faster progress towards understanding visual metacognition.

JC reflections: Why our philosophies matter to science

“We all have our philosophies, whether or not we are aware of this fact, and our philosophies are not worth very much. But the impact of our philosophies upon our actions and our lives is often devastating.” Karl Popper, Objective knowledge (1972)

This opinion piece was inspired by our two-weekly Journal Club on the topics of the ‘researcher’s degrees of freedom’ (see Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological science, 22(11), 1359-1366.) and the replication crisis in psychology (see Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349(6251).). It narrates a personal reflection of Katrien, a last-year psychology student, on the matter of how our philosophies shape our (scientific) world.

Continue reading

Start of the Lab!

Exciting times, as Kobe takes up his new position at the Brain and Cognition research unit of the KU Leuven, where he will start his own lab. For lack of a better name called “DesenderLab” now, but that might still change – suggestions welcome!

As you can see under the ‘Lab Members‘ tab, it is going to be quite crowded. Pierre Le Denmat joins the lab to work on his PhD project about how people learn to be confident (with Tom Verguts, UGent); Robin Vloeberghs joins the lab to work on his PhD project about the role of confidence in sequential decisions (with Anne Urai, ULeiden) and Gaia Corlazolli joins the lab to work on her PhD project about sharing of metacognition (with Wim Gevers, ULB). In addition, Katrien Vandenbroeck (UGent) and Hélène Van Marcke (UGent) will perform their 6 months research internship here, and Alan Voodla (UTartu, Estonia) will join 3 months as a visiting PhD student.

Finally, we drafted a lab philosophy page, reflecting the values that we wish to stand for as lab. This is supposed to be a dynamic document – so any input and suggestions are highly welcomed!

PhD Opening on decision making and confidence

As of now, I am looking for a motivated PhD student to conduct research in the field of decision making and confidence at KU Leuven. The project will be co-supervised by Prof. Tom Verguts (UGent). The position is for four years , preferably starting October 2020.  => the position has been filled!

PhD opening (Dutch is required)!

As of now, I am looking for a motivated PhD student to conduct research in the field of decision making and decision confidence at KU Leuven. The position is for six years (provided positive periodic evaluation), preferably starting September 2020 or earlier. Applications are welcome until May 31st. The position involves 1/3 of teaching, so candidates should be fluent in Dutch. => the position has been filled!

 

Starting as a research professor at KU Leuven!

After months of hard work and crossed fingers I can finally share the exciting news: coming October I will be starting as a research professor at the research unit Brain and Cognition at the KU Leuven! I’m super excited about this, and looking very much forward to this next step in my career. At the KU Leuven, I will (try to) unravel how humans learn to evaluate their own decisions (i.e., how human confidence evolves) and how this has implications for cognitive control.

Get in touch with me if you are interested to collaborate on one of these topics – particularly for interested students, there certainly are some opportunities!

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New paper in eLife: Confidence predicts speed-accuracy tradeoff for subsequent choices

Desender K, Boldt A, Verguts T & Donner TH. (2019) Confidence Predicts Speed-accuracy Tradeoff for Subsequent Choices. eLife. 8: e43499.

By Kobe Desender & Tobias H Donner.

Humans can provide precise judgments of the accuracy of their choices. When we feel confident in a choice we have just made, the probability is high that it was actually correct. Conversely, when we feel uncertain, the probability of being correct is very low. In recent years, many researchers have examined computational and neural underpinnings of this subjective sense of confidence. A central question for the field is what sense of confidence is good for – in other words, how it is put to use in the brain (Meyniel et al, 2015). Continue reading

Introducing the confidence database

Thanks to huge efforts of Doby Rahnev, a large collection of open data on behavioral tasks using subjective ratings was just made available. The database contains (at current) 145 datasets, and is fully open for everyone to use. I added a couple of my own datasets on subjective difficulty, with the hope that people might find it interestingt to examine whether different types of ratings (confidence, subjective difficulty, etc.) show the same or different dynamics. I think this is a great, ambitious project, that can tremendously speed up model developments! The database itself can be found here, while a paper describing the database can be found on psyarxiv. If you want to help popularizing the database on twitter, here’s Doby tweet about it.