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CNS 2019 Mental Models of Time - INTRO


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Introductory slides to CNS 2019 Mental Models of Time

Our symposium will focus on current working hypotheses suggesting that the construction of ordinal sequences and temporal reasoning may be necessary for an intelligible and conscious representation of time. Recent neuroscientific work suggests that algorithms dedicated to the mapping of space may also serve the mapping of time (Buzsáki & Moser, Nat Neurosci 2013). However, a great majority of studies focuses on the individual physically or virtually moving in its environment, so that the traversed spatial and temporal dimensions of the world fully correlate (as a function of the animal’s speed). As part of a dedicated navigational system, time and speed cells may contribute to the mapping of time (Kropff et al, 2015; Tsao et al, 2018), but what happens to our mental representation of time when the body does not move? Is memory retrieval sufficient to build the psychological arrow of time, past, present and future? To which extent ordering information along the time dimension may, or not, require dedicated operations as compared to imagining spatial representations? In this symposium, we will discuss recent empirical work focus on how memorized events and their temporal structure are endogenously manipulated, and ordered to build conscious narratives possibly feeding a mental model of time.

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CNS 2019 Mental Models of Time - INTRO

  1. 1. Mental Models of Time ? Marc Howard Dept of Psychological and Brain Sciences Dept of Physics Boston University, USA Christian Doeller Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway Charan Ranganath Center for Neuroscience Dept of Psychology University of California at Davis, USA Virginie van Wassenhove CEA NeuroSpin INSERM Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit Gif sur Yvette, France
  2. 2. What is a Mental Model? Kenneth Craik (1943) Human thought has a definite function: it provides a convenient small-scale model of a process so that we can, for instance, design a bridge in our minds and know that it will bear a train passing over it instead of having to conduct a number of full scale experiments […]
  3. 3. Computations [what we are trying to solve] • Why would the brain need to represent time? • Why do we experience a past-to-future orientation? Algorithm [rules and representations] • What is a representation for time? • How does the brain endogenously (re)structure events in time? Implementation [neurobiology] • Is time stored and retrieved? • Is time a process of reconstruction? + their inter-relations Mental Model of Time using David Marr’s heuristics (1982)
  4. 4. Is time memory? Time & Timing Memory explains online experiencing of the now explains past and future experienced prospectively remembered retrospectively memory of intervals, elapsed times, quantities, durations memory of events, episodes, their context what where when who hierarchical time implemented as rhythms spatialized time scanning models, mental time line […] […] Eichenbaum (2018) Neuron
  5. 5. Mental Models of Time a dialogue between communities McTaggart (1903) A & B series Buonomano (2017)
  6. 6. 1. We experience time as a timeline with a past and a future. 2. My students and I have worked out a computational model for how the brain might do that. 3. Neurophysiology confirms many predictions of this model. 4. We've since worked out ways to construct a future; people should test these predictions. 10:08 - 10:34 am Neurons in many brain regions show firing properties consistent with a compressed neural timeline of recent experience. Singh et al (2018) Neurobio Learn & Mem Howard (2018) TiCS Marc Howard Dept of Psychological & Brain Sciences Dept of Physics, Boston University, USA
  7. 7. 10:34 - 11:00 am We understand and reconstruct events in large part through their temporal structure, but temporal structure is poorly understood - the dark matter in episodic memory research. Charan Ranganath Center for Neuroscience, Dept of Psychology, UC Davis, USA 1. The hippocampus represents sequences of experiences within an event 2. The Posterior Medial Network represents long timescale information about the context of an event 3. The Medial Prefrontal Cortex represents information about classes of events that may enable representation of episodes PM Network vmPFC Hippocampus PM Network PM Network Hippocampus Hippocampus Episode Event Items in Event Context
  8. 8. 11:00 - 11: 26 am Our findings suggest a dissociation between objective and subjective temporal maps in EC and hippocampus; thereby providing novel evidence for the role of the hippocampal- entorhinal region in representing time for episodic memory. Christian Doeller Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway 1. aLEC encodes objective time 2. Hippocampus encodes subjective time
  9. 9. 11:26 - 11: 52 am 1. Time, unlike space, is experienced and thought of as a unidirectional flow. Yet, time is often conceived as space in the brain (metaphor, magnitude, scanning a mental time line,…) 2. We studied what cannot be studied in animals: humans thinking about themselves away from the « here and now » Moving through space takes time, moving through time doesn’t take space. - WK Honig (1981) in Information Processing in Animals Virginie van Wassenhove CEA NeuroSpin; INSERM Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit Gif sur Yvette, France