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Assaf Breska; Distinct mechanisms of rhythm- and interval-based attention shifting in time. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):42. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.9.42.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
A fundamental principle of brain function is the use of temporal regularities to predict the timing of upcoming events and proactively allocate attention in time accordingly. Historically, predictions in rhythmic streams were explained by oscillatory entrainment models, whereas predictions formed based on associations between cues and isolated interval were explained by dedicated interval timing mechanisms. A fundamental question is whether predictions in these two contexts are indeed mediated by distinct mechanisms, or whether both rely on a single mechanism. I will present a series of studies that combined behavioral, electrophysiological, neuropsychological and computational approached to investigate the cognitive and neural architecture of rhythm- and interval-based predictions. I will first show that temporal predictions in both contexts similarly modulate behavior and anticipatory neural dynamics measured by EEG such as ramping activity, as well as phase-locking of delta-band activity, previously taken as signature of oscillatory entrainment. Second, I will show that cerebellar degeneration patients were impaired in forming temporal predictions based on isolated intervals but not based on rhythms, while Parkinson’s disease patients showed the reverse pattern. Finally, I will demonstrate that cerebellar degeneration patients show impaired temporal adjustment of ramping activity and delta-band phase-locking, as well as timed suppression of beta-band activity during interval-based prediction. Using computational modelling, I will identify the aspects of neural dynamics that prevail in rhythm-based prediction despite impaired interval-based prediction. To conclude, I will discuss implications for rhythmic entrainment and interval timing models, and the role of subcortical structures in temporal prediction and attention.
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