Revising recognition judgments during noisy recognition evidence accumulation: The dynamics of losses versus gains

Antonio Jaeger, Ian G. Dobbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Outside the laboratory, we sometimes revise our recognition judgments of others—realizing, for example, that we have accidentally failed to greet an acquaintance we just passed in the hallway. These recognition reversals have rarely been studied. Here, using a basic noisy-accumulation framework, we simulated recognition response reversals in which initial speeded recognition judgments were followed by an opportunity to revise the initial judgment. The simulation predictions were compared to empirical data from two experiments in which we gave participants the opportunity to revise each of their initial speeded recognition judgments. The speeded old–new responses were restricted to either 300–800 ms (Exp. 1) or 200–600 ms (Exp. 2) after each probe’s onset, and the second response was self-paced in both experiments. The noisy-accumulation framework correctly anticipated three findings. First, gain rates (incorrect followed by correct responses) always exceeded loss rates (correct followed by incorrect responses). Second, despite being corrective, the raw gain rates exhibited a modest negative correlation with overall recognition skill. Third, when gain rates were conditioned on the opportunity to correct an initial error (conditional gain rate), they were then positively correlated with recognition skill but were less diagnostic than the conditional loss rates. Thus, the mechanics of noisy accumulation naturally predict that skilled recognizers will demonstrate infrequent corrective behavior but a high probability of correction, should an initial error occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1077
Number of pages15
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Accumulation
  • Memory
  • Recognition
  • Simulation


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