Symposia abstracts > Monday 23rd October 4.15pm-5.30pm

Temporal organization of perceptual processes by motor-driven low- frequency neuronal oscillations (Benjamin Morillon)

Speakers:  Luc Arnal (Switzerland), Benjamin Morillon (France), Alice Tomassini (The Netherlands) 

Symposium Abstract: A consistent body of research in the last decade has highlighted the role of oscillatory activity in sensory processing, leading to the notion that perception is inherently discrete and periodic. More recently, the focus has also turned to the role of motor processes in the proposed periodic nature of perception. This goes far beyond the long- standing idea that externally-triggered movements might be dominated by rhythmic components. The motor system might actually be capable of exerting endogenous control of oscillatory activity that entails perceptual consequences. Motor-related modulations of perceptually-relevant oscillations have been shown when sensory information is predictable in time suggesting that the motor system orchestrates the temporal tuning of attention, optimizing information extraction during active exploration (Morillon et al., 2014; Arnal et al., 2015). Furthermore, oscillations in perceptual performance time-locked to the execution of voluntary movements have been shown for stimuli that are unpredictable and, importantly, unrelated to the motor task, pointing to a rather automatic form of sensory-motor coupling (Tomassini et al., 2015). In this symposium, we will present novel findings that reveal a leading role of the motor system in the temporal prediction of external events and the modulation of sensory processing through rhythmic brain activity, and discuss their implications for action-perception coupling mechanisms. 




Time Processing Deficits in Developmental Disorders (Laurel Trainor, Canada)

Speakers: Andrew Chang (Canada), B Tillman (France), Usha Goswami (UK), Christine Falter-Wagner (Gemany)

Time processing is essential for perception, cognition and action, as well as coordinating between activities and different brain processes. Although most research on the major development disorders, including Dyslexia, Autism, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), has focused on unique features of each disorder, there is high comorbidity among them, suggesting that there may be common underlying deficits. One candidate involves deficits in time processing. Studies to date have shown that children with these developmental disorders are more likely to have inferior perceptual timing (e.g. discriminating temporal intervals or rhythms, judging temporal order of events) and/or motor timing (e.g. coordinating actions in time, reproducing auditory rhythms) (see Falter & Noreika, 2014 for a review). However, the commonality of timing deficits across developmental disorders remain far from clear due to the lack of common test paradigms, documented developmental trajectories, and an integrative theory. It appears that Autism involves impaired social timing, Dyslexia involves impaired phonological processing and temporal sequencing of syntax, DCD involves impaired sensorimotor timing, and ADHD involves impaired temporal executive and attentional control. However, the extent to which basic time processing is commonly impaired is not known. The objectives of this symposium are to assess this idea through talks on timing deficits in Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD and DCD that include behavioural and neural measures. The efficacy of timing interventions (e.g. auditory rhythmic cue) in Parkinson's disease and Dyslexia will be discussed, as well as whether such interventions could be successfully applied to other disorders. 



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