JSM 2011 Online Program

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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 150
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Monday, August 1, 2011 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: SSC
Abstract - #300095
Title: Analysis of Reaction Times as Discretely Censored Data
Author(s): Willard John Braun*+
Companies: University of Western Ontario
Address: 1151 Richmond Street, London , ON, N6A 5B7, Canada
Keywords: reaction time ; discrete censoring ; point process ; kernel density estimation ; intensity function estimation

In visual psychophysics, researchers study the brain mechanisms underlying vision by presenting visual stimuli and obtaining behavioural responses from an observer. In a simple reaction time (RT) experiment, a stimulus is presented, and the time taken for the observer to hit a button is measured. RT indicates the complexity of the operations taking place in the brain, and it is simple to analyze. The simple RT experiment consists of a warning, a uniformly distributed delay, then the briefly flashed stimulus. Therefore, the observer can anticipate the stimulus. A more realistic approach is to present the flashes according to a Poisson process and record the time of each button press. Running the experiment in this way causes new difficulties. For example, if the flashes are too close together in time, it is difficult to tell which flash is associated with which button press, leading to a special form of censoring in which the actual reaction time observations belong to discrete sets. We compare two methods for nonparametrically estimating the reaction time density function: Brillinger cross-intensity function estimates; and iterated conditional expectations.

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