Metastable states of multiscale brain networks are keys to crack the timing problem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The dynamics of the environment where we live in and the interaction with it, predicting events, provided strong evolutionary pressures for the brain functioning to process temporal information and generate timed responses. As a result, the human brain is able to process temporal information and generate temporal patterns. Despite the clear importance of temporal processing to cognition, learning, communication and sensory, motor and emotional processing, the basal mechanisms of how animals differentiate simple intervals or provide timed responses are still under debate. The lesson we learned from the last decade of research in neuroscience is that functional and structural brain connectivity matter. Specifically, it has been accepted that the organization of the brain in interacting segregated networks enables its function. In this paper we delineate the route to a promising approach for investigating timing mechanisms. We illustrate how novel insight into timing mechanisms can come by investigating brain functioning as a multi-layer dynamical network whose clustered dynamics is bound to report the presence of metastable states. We anticipate that metastable dynamics underlie the real-time coordination necessary for the brain’s dynamic functioning associated to time perception. This new point of view will help further clarifying mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number75
JournalFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 11 2018

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Brain
Time Perception
Neurosciences
Cognition
Communication
Learning
Pressure
Research

Keywords

  • Brain networks
  • Electrophysiology
  • Functional MRI
  • Metastable state brain dynamics
  • Multiscale modeling
  • Timing and time perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

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abstract = "The dynamics of the environment where we live in and the interaction with it, predicting events, provided strong evolutionary pressures for the brain functioning to process temporal information and generate timed responses. As a result, the human brain is able to process temporal information and generate temporal patterns. Despite the clear importance of temporal processing to cognition, learning, communication and sensory, motor and emotional processing, the basal mechanisms of how animals differentiate simple intervals or provide timed responses are still under debate. The lesson we learned from the last decade of research in neuroscience is that functional and structural brain connectivity matter. Specifically, it has been accepted that the organization of the brain in interacting segregated networks enables its function. In this paper we delineate the route to a promising approach for investigating timing mechanisms. We illustrate how novel insight into timing mechanisms can come by investigating brain functioning as a multi-layer dynamical network whose clustered dynamics is bound to report the presence of metastable states. We anticipate that metastable dynamics underlie the real-time coordination necessary for the brain’s dynamic functioning associated to time perception. This new point of view will help further clarifying mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders.",
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