Visual confidence refers to an observer's ability to judge the accuracy of her perceptual decisions. Even though confidence judgments have been recorded since the early days of psychophysics, only recently have they been recognized as essential for a deeper understanding of visual perception. The reluctance to study visual confidence may have come in part from obtaining convincing experimental evidence in favor of metacognitive abilities rather than just perceptual sensitivity. Some effort has thus been dedicated to offer different experimental paradigms to study visual confidence in humans and nonhuman animals. To understand the origins of confidence judgments, investigators have developed two competing frameworks. The approach based on signal decision theory is popular but fails to account for response times. In contrast, the approach based on accumulation of evidence models naturally includes the dynamics of perceptual decisions. These models can explain a range of results, including the apparently paradoxical dissociation between performance and confidence that is sometimes observed.


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