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Neural correlates of subjective timing precision and confidence

Arnold, D. H., Hohaia, W. & Yarrow, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-0666-2163 (2020). Neural correlates of subjective timing precision and confidence. Scientific Reports, 10(1), article number 3098. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-59322-7


Humans perceptual judgments are imprecise, as repeated exposures to the same physical stimulation (e.g. audio-visual inputs separated by a constant temporal offset) can result in different decisions. Moreover, there can be marked individual differences – precise judges will repeatedly make the same decision about a given input, whereas imprecise judges will make different decisions. The causes are unclear. We examined this using audio-visual (AV) timing and confidence judgments, in conjunction with electroencephalography (EEG) and multivariate pattern classification analyses. One plausible cause of differences in timing precision is that it scales with variance in the dynamics of evoked brain activity. Another possibility is that equally reliable patterns of brain activity are evoked, but there are systematic differences that scale with precision. Trial-by-trial decoding of input timings from brain activity suggested precision differences may not result from variable dynamics. Instead, precision was associated with evoked responses that were exaggerated (more different from baseline) ~300 ms after initial physical stimulations. We suggest excitatory and inhibitory interactions within a winner-take-all neural code for AV timing might exaggerate responses, such that evoked response magnitudes post-stimulation scale with encoding success.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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