A neural circuit model for human sensorimotor timing

Authors: Seth W. Egger, Nhat M. Le, Mehrdad Jazayeri

Publication: Nature Communications

Date: August 2020

Link to full article


Humans and animals can effortlessly coordinate their movements with external stimuli. This capacity indicates that sensory inputs can rapidly and flexibly reconfigure the ongoing dynamics in the neural circuits that control movements. Here, we develop a circuit-level model that coordinates movement times with expected and unexpected temporal events. The model consists of two interacting modules, a motor planning module that controls movement times and a sensory anticipation module that anticipates external events. Both modules harbor a reservoir of latent dynamics, and their interaction forms a control system whose output is adjusted adaptively to minimize timing errors. We show that the model’s output matches human behavior in a range of tasks including time interval production, periodic production, synchronization/continuation, and Bayesian time interval reproduction. These results demonstrate how recurrent interactions in a simple and modular neural circuit could create the dynamics needed to control timing behavior.

Friday, August 7, 2020