Brain reaction times: Linking individual and collective behaviour through Physics modelling [article]

Juan Carlos Castro-Palacio, Pedro Fernández de Córdoba, J. M. Isidro, Esperanza Navarro-Pardo
2019 arXiv   pre-print
An individual's reaction time data to visual stimuli have usually been represented in Experimental Psychology by means of an ex-Gaussian function (EGF). In most previous works, researchers have mainly aimed at finding a meaning for the parameters of the EGF function in relation to psychological phenomena. We will focus on interpreting the reaction times (RTs) of a group of individuals rather than a single person's RT, which is relevant for the different contexts of social sciences. In doing so,
more » ... the same model as for the Ideal Gases (IG) (an inanimate system of non-interacting particles) emerges from the experimental RT data. Both systems are characterised by a collective parameter which is k_BT in the case of the system of particles and what we have called life span parameter for the system of brains. Similarly, we came across a Maxwell-Boltzmann-type distribution for the system of brains which provides a natural and more complete characterisation of the collective time response than has ever been provided before. Thus, we are able to know about the behaviour of a single individual in relation to the coetaneous group to which they belong and through the application of a physical law. This leads to a new entropy-based methodology for the classification of the individuals forming the system which emerges from the physical law governing the system of brains. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work in the literature reporting on the emergence of a physical theory (IG) from human RT experimental data.
arXiv:1910.12725v2 fatcat:tb4v4kiax5ed3d66ftbpjr5mne