Action information contributes to metacognitive decision-making.Sci Rep. 2020 02 27; 10(1):3632.SR
Metacognitive abilities allow us to adjust ongoing behavior and modify future decisions in the absence of external feedback. Although metacognition is critical in many daily life settings, it remains unclear what information is actually being monitored and what kind of information is being used for metacognitive decisions. In the present study, we investigated whether response information connected to perceptual events contribute to metacognitive decision-making. Therefore, we recorded EEG signals during a perceptual color discrimination task while participants were asked to provide an estimate about the quality of their decision on each trial. Critically, the moment participants provided their confidence judgments varied across conditions, thereby changing the amount of action information (e.g., response competition or response fluency) available for metacognitive decisions. Results from three experiments demonstrate that metacognitive performance improved when first-order action information was available at the moment metacognitive decisions about the perceptual task had to be provided. This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced functional connectivity (beta phase synchrony) between motor areas and prefrontal regions, exclusively observed during metacognitive decision-making. Our findings demonstrate that action information contributes to metacognitive decision-making, thereby painting a picture of metacognition as a process that integrates sensory evidence and information about our interactions with the world.