Apr 9, 2020

Topographic Connectivity in a Duration Selective Cortico-Cerebellar Network

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
F. ProtopapaDomenica Bueti

Abstract

How does the human brain represent millisecond unit of time? A recent neuroimaging study revealed the existence in the human premotor cortex of a topographic representation of time i.e., neuronal units selectively responsive to specific durations and topographically organized on the cortical surface. By using high resolution functional Magnetic Resonance Images here, we go futher this previous work, showing duration preferences across a wide network of cortical and subcortical brain areas: from cerebellum to primary visual, parietal, premotor and prefrontal cortices. Most importantly, we identify the functional connectivity structure between these different brain areas and their duration selective neural units. The results highlight the role of the cerebellum as the network hub and that of medial premotor cortex as the final stage of duration recognition. Interestingly, when a specific duration is presented, only the communication between the units selective to that duration become particularly active. These findings identify duration tuning and topographic connectivity as possible mechanisms underlying our capacity of telling time.

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