Séminaire / Conférence
  • Virginie van Wassenhove (conférencier)

One goal of time research is to link the dynamics of brain processes (timing) with the conscious experience of time (time perception). Two approaches can be taken.

First, and traditionally, the hallmark of time perception is the experience of duration or “time quantity” (Lambrechts et al, 2013) necessitating two temporal markers that are the onset and the offset of an event. Brain responses to temporal markers can be indexed evoked brain activity although this presupposes a latency-code mechanism for the temporal event encoding, which may be difficult to reconcile with the inherent temporal delays of cortical information processing (van Wassenhove, 2009).

For instance, the temporal coincidence of auditory (A) and visual (V) events is a necessary condition for multisensory integration, yet coincidence is defined by the brain, not by veridical simultaneity. Consistent with this, the perception of audiovisual (AV) speech tolerates as much as 250 ms of desynchrony between sensory inputs suggesting the existence of temporal encoding windows (van Wassenhove et al, 2007) or temporal constants (Kösem & van Wassenhove, 2012).

A second approach consists in describing neural activity in terms of neural oscillations which naturally provide such temporal constants (Treisman et al, 1990; Pöppel, 1997, 2009; Buhusi & Meck, 2005; van Wassenhove, 2009). In this view, the dynamics of brain activity provide a logistical platform or chronoarchitecture hypothesized to serve canonical operations for temporal event structuring at all scales. If this is the case, distinct neurophysiological markers should be found that index the structuring of events in time specifically for time perception and temporal cognition.

Perception du temps / Time perception

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