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Paper   IPM / Cognitive Sciences / 17415
School of Cognitive Sciences
  Title:   Context-specific and context-invariant computations of interval timing
1.  A. Pourmohammadi
2.  M. Sanayei
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Frontiers in Neuroscience
  Vol.:  17
  Year:  2023
  Supported by:  IPM
Introduction: An accurate sense of time is crucial in flexible sensorimotor control and other cognitive functions. However, it remains unknown how multiple timing computations in different contexts interact to shape our behavior. Methods: We asked 41 healthy human subjects to perform timing tasks that differed in the sensorimotor domain (sensory timing vs. motor timing) and effector (hand vs. saccadic eye movement). To understand how these different behavioral contexts contribute to timing behavior, we applied a three-stage Bayesian model to behavioral data. Results: Our results demonstrate that the Bayesian model for each effector could not describe bias in the other effector. Similarly, in each task the model-predicted data could not describe bias in the other task. These findings suggest that the measurement stage of interval timing is context-specific in the sensorimotor and effector domains. We also showed that temporal precision is context-invariant in the effector domain, unlike temporal accuracy. Discussion: This combination of context-specific and context-invariant computations across sensorimotor and effector domains suggests overlapping and distributed computations as the underlying mechanism of timing in different contexts.

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