Subjective duration as a signature of coding efficiency: Emerging links among stimulus repetition, predictive coding, and cortical GABA levels

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Immediate repetition of a stimulus reduces its apparent duration relative to a novel item. Recent work indicates that this may reflect suppressed cortical responses to repeated stimuli, arising from neural adaptation and/or the predictive coding of expected stimuli. This article summarizes recent behavioral and neurobiological studies linking perceived time to the magnitude of cortical responses, including work suggesting that variations in GABA-mediated cortical inhibition may underlie some of the individual differences in time perception. We suggest that the firing of cortical neurons can be modified using simple recurrent networks with time-dependent processes that are modulated by GABA levels. These local networks feed into a core-timing network used to integrate across stimulus inputs/modalities, thereby allowing for the coordination of multiple duration ranges and effector systems.







Marc A. Sommer

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

We study circuits for cognition. Using a combination of neurophysiology and biomedical engineering, we focus on the interaction between brain areas during visual perception, decision-making, and motor planning. Specific projects include the role of frontal cortex in metacognition, the role of cerebellar-frontal circuits in action timing, the neural basis of "good enough" decision-making (satisficing), and the neural mechanisms of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

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