Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Time Doc Byte # 3 - Brain clock importance and clinical groups

Here is my third Time Doc Byte. Categories - "importance" of the human brain clock and mental time-keeping; relevance to clinical groups/populations

This time the quotes come from a chapter from Meck (2003); Introduction to edited book - Functional and Neural Mechanisms of Interval Timing - yep, I've got the book and am hoping I can get through the technical and deep material - the book is listed as a "recommended book" on the right side of this blog).

Underline or italic emphasis added by blogmaster.

  • The term interval timing is used to describe the temporal discrimination processes involved in the estimation and reproduction of relatively short during the seconds-to-minutes range that form the fabric of our everyday existence and unite our mental representations of actions and rhythmical structures.
  • Human learning and memory is highly sensitive to temporal factors, and oscillator-based models have been proposed for the coding of serial order in memory...In addition, deficits in learning, memory, set shifting, and interval timing have been observed in a variety of patient populations with damage to the basal ganglia, including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease patients, as well as other cortical and subcortical brain structures affected by Alzheimer's disease, injury, and stroke.
  • ...understanding temporal integration by the brain will be among the premier topics to unite systems, cellular, computational, and cognitive neuroscience over the next decade.
  • It is interesting to note that some researchers have argued that a primary function of the internal clock is to allow for the efficient transfer of information from one stage of information processing to another at regularly spaced intervals.

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