The brain predicts the timing of forthcoming events to optimize processes in response to them. Temporal predictions are driven by both our prior expectations on the likely timing of stimulus occurrence and the information conveyed by the passage of time. Specifically, such predictions can be described in terms of the hazard function, that is, the conditional probability that an event will occur, given it has not yet occurred. Events violating expectations cause surprise and often induce updating of prior expectations. While it is well-known that the brain is able to track the temporal hazard of event occurrence, the question of how prior temporal expectations are updated is still unsettled. Here we combined a Bayesian computational approach with brain imaging to map updating of temporal expectations in the human brain. Moreover, since updating is usually highly correlated with surprise, participants performed a task that allowed partially differentiating between the two processes. Results showed that updating and surprise differently modulated activity in areas belonging to two critical networks for cognitive control, the fronto-parietal (FPN) and the cingulo-opercular network (CON). Overall, these data provide a first computational characterization of the neural correlates associated with updating and surprise related to temporal expectation.

Bayesian modeling of temporal expectations in the human brain

Antonino Visalli
;
Mariagrazia Capizzi;Ettore Ambrosini;Ilaria Mazzonetto;Antonino Vallesi
Funding Acquisition
2019

Abstract

The brain predicts the timing of forthcoming events to optimize processes in response to them. Temporal predictions are driven by both our prior expectations on the likely timing of stimulus occurrence and the information conveyed by the passage of time. Specifically, such predictions can be described in terms of the hazard function, that is, the conditional probability that an event will occur, given it has not yet occurred. Events violating expectations cause surprise and often induce updating of prior expectations. While it is well-known that the brain is able to track the temporal hazard of event occurrence, the question of how prior temporal expectations are updated is still unsettled. Here we combined a Bayesian computational approach with brain imaging to map updating of temporal expectations in the human brain. Moreover, since updating is usually highly correlated with surprise, participants performed a task that allowed partially differentiating between the two processes. Results showed that updating and surprise differently modulated activity in areas belonging to two critical networks for cognitive control, the fronto-parietal (FPN) and the cingulo-opercular network (CON). Overall, these data provide a first computational characterization of the neural correlates associated with updating and surprise related to temporal expectation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3305928
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