Subjective Duration as a Signature of Coding Efficiency: Emerging Links Among Stimulus Repetition, Predictive Coding, and Cortical GABA Levels

William J. Matthews, Devin B. Terhune, Hedderik van Rijn, David M. Eagleman, Marc A. Sommer, Warren H. Meck


Immediate repetition of a stimulus reduces its apparent duration relative to a novel item. Recent work indicates that this may reflect suppressed cortical responses to repeated stimuli, arising from neural adaptation and/or the predictive coding of expected stimuli. This article summarizes recent behavioral and neurobiological studies linking perceived time to the magnitude of cortical responses, including work suggesting that variations in GABA-mediated cortical inhibition may underlie some of the individual differences in time perception. We suggest that the firing of cortical neurons can be modified using simple recurrent networks with time-dependent processes that are modulated by GABA levels. These local networks feed into a core-timing network used to integrate across stimulus inputs/modalities, thereby allowing for the coordination of multiple duration ranges and effector systems.


Predictive coding; Repetition suppression; GABA; Individual differences; Timing and time perception; Interval tuning; Cortical and sub-cortical structures; Striatal beat-frequency model

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