Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Ryan Read Sciences

Characterizing Probability Distortion in Non-human Primates During Description and Experience Based Decision Making

Scholars Journal

Subjective perceptions of risk can profoundly influence decision making. Recent work suggests that people perceptually inflate risks learned through experience compared to those learned through description. However, due the difficulty of neurophysiological recordings in humans the neural mechanisms underlying this description-experience gap (DE gap) remain unclear. To address this issue, Ryan will behaviorally explore whether the DE gap exists in non-human primates (NHPs) using behavioral tasks based on previous studies in humans. If NHPs display the same biases and follow a similar learning model it would indicate fundamental similarity in cognitive systems which emerged prior to the evolutionary divergence of the species. In doing so Ryan will validate the existence of the DE gap in NHPs and enable subsequent neurophysiological recordings to understand the neural mechanisms behind this probability distortion.
Photo of Ryan Read
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Joni Wallis, Psychology
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