Ulrik R Beierholm

Ulrik R Beierholm
Durham University | DU · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

73
Publications
6,728
Reads
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2,304
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Durham University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2011 - present
University of Birmingham
Position
  • Lecturer (Assist. Prof) in Computational Neuroscience
February 2008 - August 2011
University College London
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2001 - June 2007
California Institute of Technology
Field of study
  • Computation and Neural Systems
February 1998 - February 2001
University of Copenhagen
Field of study
  • Physics
October 1993 - February 1998
University of Copenhagen
Field of study
  • Physics

Publications

Publications (73)
Article
Full-text available
Subjects routinely control the vigor with which they emit motoric responses. However the bulk of formal treatments of decision-making ignores this dimension of choice. A recent theoretical study suggested that action vigor should be influenced by experienced average reward rate, and that this rate is encoded by tonic dopamine in the brain. We previ...
Article
Until recently, the question of how the brain performs causal inference has been studied primarily in the context of cognitive reasoning. However, this problem is at least equally crucial in perceptual processing. At any given moment, the perceptual system receives multiple sensory signals within and across modalities and, for example, has to deter...
Article
Full-text available
Perceptual events derive their significance to an animal from their meaning about the world, that is from the information they carry about their causes. The brain should thus be able to efficiently infer the causes underlying our sensory events. Here we use multisensory cue combination to study causal inference in perception. We formulate an ideal-...
Preprint
Full-text available
Generalising robotic grasping to previously unseen objects is a key task in general robotic manipulation. The current method for training many antipodal generative grasping models rely on a binary ground truth grasp map generated from the centre thirds of correctly labelled grasp rectangles. However, these binary maps do not accurately reflect the...
Article
Vigor reflects how motivated people are to respond to stimuli. We previously showed that, on average, humans are more vigorous when a higher rate of reward is available, and that this relationship is modulated by the dopamine precursor levodopa. Dopamine signaling and probabilistic reward learning deteriorate across the adult life span, and thus, t...
Article
Mature perceptual systems can learn new arbitrary sensory signals (novel cues) to properties of the environment, but little is known about the extent to which novel cues are integrated into normal perception. In normal perception, multiple uncertain familiar cues are combined, often near-optimally (reliability-weighted averaging), to increase perce...
Article
Understanding of the brain and the principles governing neural processing requires theories that are parsimonious, can account for a diverse set of phenomena, and can make testable predictions. Here, we review the theory of Bayesian causal inference, which has been tested, refined, and extended in a variety of tasks in humans and other primates by...
Preprint
Reliability-weighted averaging of multiple perceptual estimates (or cues) can improve precision. Research suggests that newly-learned statistical associations can be rapidly integrated in this way for efficient decision-making. Yet, it remains unclear if integration of newly-learned statistics into decision-making can directly influence perception,...
Preprint
Mature perceptual systems can learn new arbitrary sensory signals (novel cues) to properties of the environment, but little is known about the extent to which novel cues are integrated into normal perception. In normal perception, multiple uncertain familiar cues are combined, often near-optimally (reliability-weighted averaging), to increase perce...
Article
Human observers recognize the faces of people they know efficiently and without apparent effort. Consequently, recognizing a familiar face is often assumed to be an automatic process beyond voluntary control. However, there are circumstances in which a person might seek to hide their recognition of a particular face. The present study therefore use...
Article
Full-text available
Observers in perceptual tasks are often reported to combine multiple sensory cues in a weighted average that improves precision—in some studies, approaching statistically optimal (Bayesian) weighting, but in others departing from optimality, or not benefitting from combined cues at all. To correctly conclude which combination rules observers use, i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Perception relies on being able to segregate stimuli from different objects and causes to perform inference and further processing. For simple binary stimuli (e.g. auditory and visual) we have models of how the human brain can perform such causal inference, but the complexity of the models increases dramatically with more than 2 stimuli. To charact...
Preprint
Understanding of the brain and the principles governing neural processing requirestheories that are parsimonious, can account for a diverse set of phenomena, and can maketestable predictions. Here, we review the theory of Bayesian causal inference, which hasbeen tested, refined, and extended in a variety of tasks in humans and other primates byseve...
Preprint
Full-text available
Vigor reflects how motivated one is to respond to a stimulus. We previously showed that humans are more vigorous when more reward is available on average, and that this relationship is modulated by the dopamine precursor levodopa. Dopamine signalling and probabilistic reward learning degrade with age, so the relationship between vigor and reward sh...
Preprint
Full-text available
Observers in perceptual tasks are often reported to combine multiple sensory cues in a weighted average that improves precision – in some studies, approaching statistically-optimal (Bayesian) weighting, but in others departing from optimality, or not benefitting from combined cues at all. To correctly conclude which combination rules observers use,...
Article
Full-text available
To form a more reliable percept of the environment, the brain needs to estimate its own sensory uncertainty. Current theories of perceptual inference assume that the brain computes sensory uncertainty instantaneously and independently for each stimulus. We evaluated this assumption in four psychophysical experiments, in which human observers locali...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies suggest that to achieve color constancy, the human visual system makes use of multiple cues, including a priori assumptions about the illumination ("daylight priors"). Specular highlights have been proposed to aid constancy, but the evidence for their usefulness is mixed. Here, we used a novel cue-combination approach to test wheth...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we introduce two methods of improving real-time object grasping performance from monocular colour images in an end-to-end CNN architecture. The first is the addition of an auxiliary task during model training (multi-task learning). Our multi-task CNN model improves grasping performance from a baseline average of 72.04% to 78.14% on t...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has established that numeric estimates are based not just on perceptual data but also past experience, and so may be influenced by the form of this stored information. It remains unclear, however, how such experience is represented: numerical data can be processed by either a continuous analogue number system or a discrete symboli...
Article
Full-text available
Prior knowledge can help observers in various situations. Adults can simultaneously learn two location priors and integrate these with sensory information to locate hidden objects. Importantly, observers weight prior and sensory (likelihood) information differently depending on their respective reliabilities, in line with principles of Bayesian inf...
Preprint
Full-text available
To form the most reliable percept of the environment, the brain needs to represent sensory uncertainty. Current theories of perceptual inference assume that the brain computes sensory uncertainty instantaneously and independently for each stimulus. In a series of psychophysics experiments human observers localized auditory signals that were present...
Preprint
Full-text available
Prior knowledge can help observers across a range of tasks. Adults can simultaneously learn two location priors and integrate these with sensory information to locate hidden objects. Importantly, observers weight prior and sensory (likelihood) information differently depending on their respective reliabilities, in line with principles of Bayesian i...
Article
Aging has been shown to impact multisensory perception, but the underlying computational mechanisms are unclear. For effective interactions with the environment, observers should integrate signals that share a common source, weighted by their reliabilities, and segregate those from separate sources. Observers are thought to accumulate evidence abou...
Article
Full-text available
Results in the recent literature suggest that multisensory integration in the brain follows the rules of Bayesian inference. However, how neural circuits can realize such inference and how it can be learned from experience is still the subject of active research. The aim of this work is to use a recent neurocomputational model to investigate how th...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies of multisensory spatial localization have shown that observers' responses are well-characterized by Bayesian inference, as localization judgments are influenced not only by the reliability of sensory encoding, but expectations about where things occur in space. Here, we investigate the frame of reference for the prior expectation of ob...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ageing has been shown to impact multisensory perception, but the underlying computational mechanisms are unclear. For effective interactions with the environment, observers should integrate signals that share a common source, weighted by their reliabilities, and segregate those from separate sources. Observers are thought to accumulate evidence abo...
Article
Full-text available
Cooperation and competition are vital for human survival and for social progress. In this study we examine the impact of external (environmental) and internal (individual differences) factors on the tendency to cooperate or compete in social conflicts. To this end, 53 young adults played blocks of the repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma Game with each othe...
Data
Data from 53 participants. (XLSX)
Poster
As we age, multisensory integration becomes increasingly critical for effective interaction with the environment. Some studies have shown greater multisensory benefits for older than younger adults. Others have suggested that older adults weight sensory signals suboptimally when compared to the predictions of Maximum Likelihood estimation. Combini...
Preprint
Many studies of multisensory spatial localization have shown that observers' responses are well-characterized by Bayesian inference, as localization judgments are influenced not only by the reliability of sensory encoding, but expectations about where things occur in space. Here, we investigate the frame of reference for the prior expectation of ob...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter discusses neuroimaging evidence behind the processes and the developmental changes that result in behavior with fewer propensities for risky choices. Risk-taking behavior occurs throughout the lifespan, but its extent varies with age. Besides age, other factors such as personality characteristics have an impact on risk-taking behavior....
Article
Full-text available
Television consumption influences perceptions of attractive female body size. However, cross-cultural research examining media influence on body ideals is typically confounded by differences in the availability of reliable and diverse foodstuffs. 112 participants were recruited from 3 Nicaraguan villages that differed in television consumption and...
Preprint
Human perceptual grouping of sequential auditory cues has traditionally been modeled using a mechanistic approach. The problem however is essentially one of source inference – a problem that has recently been tackled using statistical Bayesian models in visual and auditory-visual modalities. Usually the models are restricted to performing inference...
Article
Full-text available
The vigor with which humans and animals engage in a task is often a determinant of the likelihood of the task’s success. An influential theoretical model suggests that the speed and rate at which responses are made should depend on the availability of rewards and punishments. While vigor facilitates the gathering of rewards in a bountiful environme...
Article
Full-text available
Many everyday estimation tasks have an inherently discrete nature, whether the task is counting objects (e.g., a number of paint buckets) or estimating discretized continuous variables (e.g., the number of paint buckets needed to paint a room). While Bayesian inference is often used for modeling estimates made along continuous scales, discrete nume...
Data
Includes an investigation of whether a prior or mapping is used, the individual results of model fits, a model verification exercise, and correlations between response time and model parameters. (PDF)
Data
The discrimination and estimation data from every reported participant in all experiments in Matlab format. (ZIP)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Probabilistic toolboxes and probabilistic programming in general have seen an increased use in a number of fields of data modeling. In such uses the modeler is given a dataset and wishes to make inferences about the statistical properties assumed to have generated it. A prevalent line of research in theoretical neuro-science and psychology has prop...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The primary role of any biological nervous system (including the human) is to process incoming information in a way that allows motor choices to be made that increases the subjective utility of the organism. Or put slightly differently, "to make sure good things happen". There are a number of ways that such a process can be done, but one possible h...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter first discusses experimental findings showing that multisensory perception encompasses a spectrum of phenomena ranging from full integration (or fusion), to partial integration, to complete segregation. Next, it describes two Bayesian causal-inference models that can account for the entire range of combinations of two or more sensory c...
Article
Full-text available
Two fundamental questions underlie the expression of behavior, namely what to do and how vigorously to do it. The former is the topic of an overwhelming wealth of theoretical and empirical work particularly in the fields of reinforcement learning and decision-making, with various forms of affective prediction error playing key roles. Although vigor...
Article
Full-text available
Prefrontal cortex has long been implicated in tasks involving higher order inference in which decisions must be rendered, not only about which stimulus is currently rewarded, but also which stimulus dimensions are currently relevant. However, the precise computational mechanisms used to solve such tasks have remained unclear. We scanned human parti...
Article
Full-text available
Author Summary The theory of Reinforcement Learning (RL) has been influential in explaining basic learning and behavior in humans and other animals, and in accounting for key features of the activity of dopamine neurons. However, perhaps due to this very success, paradigms that challenge RL are at a premium. One case concerns so-called ‘observing b...
Article
Human perception is highly multisensory. In nature several sources can be the cause of the stimuli and the nervous system has to decide in which cases the inputs received are from a single or multiple sources. This presents the nervous system with the constant problem of deciding which signals should be integrated and how, and which signals should...
Data
Model fits to probability matching group. Shaded areas show the log-probability of response for the 82 subjects classified as using a probability matching strategy. Thick lines show the model fits averaged across individual subject fits. Vertical blue and magenta dotted lines show the location of the auditory and visual stimulus, respectively. The...
Data
Model fitting and goodness of fit procedure. (0.03 MB DOC)
Article
Full-text available
The question of which strategy is employed in human decision making has been studied extensively in the context of cognitive tasks; however, this question has not been investigated systematically in the context of perceptual tasks. The goal of this study was to gain insight into the decision-making strategy used by human observers in a low-level pe...
Article
Full-text available
It has been shown that human combination of crossmodal information is highly consistent with an optimal Bayesian model performing causal inference. These findings have shed light on the computational principles governing crossmodal integration/segregation. Intuitively, in a Bayesian framework priors represent a priori information about the environm...
Article
Full-text available
Our nervous system typically processes signals from multiple sensory modalities at any given moment and is therefore posed with two important problems: which of the signals are caused by a common event, and how to combine those signals. We investigated human perception in the presence of auditory, visual, and tactile stimulation in a numerosity jud...
Data
The interaction priors when fit to our dataset are shown for the causal inference model, the Roach et al. [1] and the Bresciani et al. priors[3]. (1.15 MB EPS)
Data
Supporting Information for “Causal inference in multisensory perception” (0.11 MB DOC)
Data
The average auditory bias, i.e. the relative influence of the visual position on the perceived auditory position, is shown as a function of the absolute spatial disparity (solid line, as in Fig. 2 main text) along with the model predictions (dashed lines). Red: causal inference model. Green: behavior derived from using the Roach et al prior. Purple...
Article
A phenomenon of alternate constrictions and dilatations in blood vessels has been studied for over 50 years. Recently, a theory has been presented involving a Rayleigh type instability. We analyze the model in terms of the lengths of the deformations in relation to the wall thickness, blood pressure and stress. Analytical and numerical results obta...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bayesian models of multisensory perception traditionally address the problem of estimating an underlying variable that is assumed to be the cause of the two sensory signals. The brain, however, has to solve a more general problem: it also has to establish which signals come from the same source and should be integrated, and which ones do not and sh...
Article
Recently, it has been shown that visual perception can be radically altered by signals of other modalities. For example, when a single flash is accompanied by multiple auditory beeps, it is often perceived as multiple flashes. This effect is known as the sound-induced flash illusion. In order to investigate the principles underlying this illusion,...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, it has been shown that visual perception can be radically altered by signals of other modalities. For example, when a single £ash is accompanied by multiple auditory beeps, it is often perceived as multiple £ashes. This e¡ect is known as the sound-induced £ash illusion. In order to investigate the principles underlying this illusion, we d...
Article
Full-text available
Vascular damage induced by acute hypertension is preceded by a peculiar pattern where blood vessels show alternating regions of constrictions and dilations ("sausages on a string"). The pattern occurs in the smaller blood vessels, and it plays a central role in causing the vascular damage. A related vascular pattern has been observed in larger vess...
Article
The reliability with which a neuron is able to create the same firing pattern when presented with the same stimulus is of critical importance to the understanding of neuronal information processing. We show that reliability is closely related to the process of phaselocking. Experimental results for the reliability of neuronal firing in the spinal c...
Article
Full-text available
The spike timing in rhythmically active interneurons in the mammalian spinal locomotor network varies from cycle to cycle. We tested the contribution from passive membrane properties to this variable firing pattern, by measuring the reliability of spike timing, P, in interneurons in the isolated neonatal rat spinal cord, using intracellular injecti...
Article
Full-text available
Likelihoods P(A|Za)=P(Za|A)P(A)/Σ AP(Za|A)P(A) P(V|Zv)=P(Zv|V)P(V)/ΣV P(Zv|V)P(V) Abstract: To optimally react to its surroundings, the nervous system must decide what the relations are between stimuli of different modalities. Given the statistics of a variable environment, the best statistical strategy to decide whether and how to integrate or seg...
Article
We are constantly bombarded by sensory input, from multiple sources. How does the human brain process all this information? How does it decide what information to combine and what to keep segregated? If a visual and auditory stimulus originates from the same cause, say a baseball hitting a bat, there are advantages to combining the information to a...

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