Scientists point out the key mechanism of the brain for time



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Whether playing the piano or moving a tennis racket, time is critical for a series of activities.

Now, scientists believe they have discovered the key mechanism in the brain that controls this precise time.

Their findings suggest that time is controlled by neurons that compress or stretch the steps they take to generate behavior at a specific time.

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  Whether playing the piano or moving a tennis racket, time is of the essence for a range of activities. Now, scientists believe they have discovered the key mechanism in the brain that controls this precise time.

  Whether playing the piano or moving a tennis racket, time is critical for a series of activities. Now, scientists believe they have discovered the key mechanism in the brain that controls this precise moment.

Whether playing the piano or swinging a tennis racket, time is critical for a series of activities. Now, scientists believe they have discovered the key mechanism in the brain that controls this precise moment.

HOW IS THE TIME CONTROLLED?

Researchers recorded activity of three regions of the brain in animals while performing a task in two different time intervals. 850 milliseconds or 1,500 milliseconds.

During these intervals, the researchers found a complex pattern of activity.

Some neurons fired faster, some slower and others oscillated.

But the researchers found that the response neurons did not matter, the speed at which they adjusted their activity depended on the necessary time interval.

When a longer interval was required, the trajectory of each neuron was "stretched," meaning that the neurons took longer to complete their activity.

when the interval was shorter, the trajectory was compressed.

While previous studies suggested that time control is achieved through a centralized pacemaker, researchers at the Mbadachusetts Institute of Technology suggest that this may not be the case.

In a new study, researchers suggest that time control can rely on the neurons responsible for producing a specific action.

Depending on the time interval required, these neurons compress or stretch the steps they take to generate the behavior at a specific time, according to the researchers.

Dr. Mehrdad Jazayeri, lead author of the study, said: "What we find is that it is a very active process, the brain is not pbadively waiting for a watch to reach a particular point."

In the study, the researchers challenged the theory that time is controlled by an internal clock.

Dr. Jazayeri said: "People now wonder why the brain wants to spend the time and energy to generate a watch when it is not always necessary.

& # 39; For certain behaviors you need to make time, so maybe the parts of the brain that serve these functions can also do the time & # 39; [19659002] To explore this possibility, the researchers recorded activity of three brain regions in animals while performing a task in two different time intervals: 850 milliseconds or 1,500 milliseconds.

During these intervals, the researchers found a complex pattern of activity.

  Researchers focused on three brain regions: the dorsomedial frontal cortex, the caudate, and the thalamus (magnetic resonance stock images)

  The researchers focused on three regions of the brain: the dorsomedial frontal cut x, the caudate and the thalamus (MRI stock scanned in photo)

The researchers focused on three regions of the brain: the dorsomedial frontal cortex, the caudate, and the thalamus (scanned MRI images)

KEY REGIONS

The researchers it focused on three regions of the brain: the dorsomedial frontal cortex, which is involved in many cognitive processes, the caudate, which is involved in motor control and learning, and the thalamus that transmits motor and sensory signals.

They found the distinctive neural pattern in both the dorsomedial frontal cortex and the caudate.

But in the thalamus they found a different pattern: instead of altering the speed of their trajectory, the neurons simply increased or decreased their firing speed.

This suggests that the thalamus is instructing the cortex about how to adjust its activity to generate a certain interval.

Some neurons fired faster, some slower and others oscillated.

But the researchers discovered that No matter the response of the neurons, the speed at which they adjusted their activity depends on the time interval needed.

When a longer interval was required, the trajectory of each neuron was "stretched," meaning that the neurons took longer to complete their activity.

But when the interval was shorter, the trajectory was compressed.

Dr. Jazayeri explained: "What we found is that the brain does not change the trajectory when the interval changes, it simply changes the speed with which it goes from the initial internal state to the final state.

The researchers focused on three brain regions: the dorsomedial frontal cortex, which is involved in many cognitive processes, the caudate, which is involved in motor control and learning, and the thalamus that transmits motor and sensory signals.

They found the distinctive neural pattern in both the dorsomedial frontal cortex and in the caudate.

But in the thalamus they found a different pattern: instead of Al altering the speed of their trajectory, the neurons simply increased or decreased their firing speed.

This suggests that the thalamus is instructing the cortex about how to adjust its activity to generate a certain interval.

Researchers now hope to explore this mechanism further to understand how our expectations influence our ability to produce different intervals.

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