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Mental Rotation as Bayesian Quadrature

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posted on 15.01.2014, 00:14 by Jessica Hamrick, Thomas Griffiths

Given a computational resource–for example, the ability to visualize an object rotating–how do you best make use of it? We explored how mental simulation should be used in the classic psychological task of determining if two images de- pict the same object in different orientations. We compared two models on this mental rotation task, and found that a model based on an optimal experiment de- sign for Bayesian quadrature is qualitatively more consistent with classic behav- ioral data than a simpler model. We suggest that rational models which adaptively exploit available resources are promising in their ability to characterize metacog- nitive processes like mental simulation.