Symposia abstracts > Wednesday 25th October 4.15pm-5.30pm

Timing and time perception in children (Sylvie Droit-Volet)

Speakers: Maria Dolores de Hevia (France), Sylvie Droit-Volet (France), Melissa Allman (USA), Laurence Casini (France)

There is not one but many different ways of measuring the perception of time, and each may follow distinct developmental trajectories.  First, de Hevia will review evidence that infants and even newborns at birth are able to create expectations of congruency for magnitude change across the dimensions of space, time and number. Droit-Volet will then demonstrate that age-related changes in timing are significantly linked to the development of general cognitive capacities, in terms of working memory and attention. Stimulus modality effects may also help elucidate the nature of interval timing and Allman will describe the emergence of the modality effect in children and adults by manipulating relative experience to modalities across the course of the experimental session.  Finally, Casini will present data investigating the link between time, speech and dyslexia, and will attempt to shed new light on temporal processing deficits in dyslexia by using the theoretical and methodological tools of time perception.





Embodied Timing : the role of Emergent and Predictive Timing mechanisms in the Voluntary control of Whole Body movements  (Yvonne Delevoye-Turrell)

Speakers: Juliane J. Honisch (UK), Yvonne Delevoye-Turrell  (France), Pieter-Jan Maes (Belgium), Simone Dalla Bella (France)

Intentional motor behaviour requires the planning of body actions through space and time. Depending on the nature of the task, the goal can be geared towards the needs to produce actions at a specific moment in time. For example, clapping to a beat requires a person to set the focus on the time intervals between successive arm strokes to perform a given rhythmic pattern. In other cases, timing is simply an emergent property that reveals itself when producing cyclic movements through space. Limb velocities contain inherent dynamics that will pace motor actions at a given tempo. Such phenomenon can be observed in such cases as waving good-bye, knocking at the door or going out for a Sunday jog.

The study of motor timing was initiated by Fraisse and collaborators back in the 60’s using a very simple finger tapping task that provided the means to reveal not only the natural spontaneous tempo of body movement (Fraisse 1982) but also the ability of a person to synchronise motor elements to an external metronome. Concerned by the emergent propertiesof motor timing, other studies developed the use of repetitive wrist/arm flexions to study the emergence of rhythmic coupling. This important literature has suggested through the years that predictive timing and emergent timing modes of motor control may in fact be related to different neurobiological mechanisms (Lewis and Miall, 2003, 2006). Depending on the temporal constraints set upon the task, one or other of the timing modes may be implicated for motor planning and execution (Dione and Delevoye-Turrell, 2015). Nevertheless, such suggestions are based solely on the use of simple one joint action patterns of an individual’s performance. The objective of the present symposium is to report studies focussed on the timing properties of motor behaviour in whole body movement by exploring timing strategies within solo and group scenarios.

This symposium will present four studies in which whole body 3D kinematics were used to reveal temporal patterns of motor control when interacting in an emotional contained environment. Overall, we aim to show how 3D kinematics can provide a way to confirm the complementary role of the automatic emergent and the cognitively controlled time measurements for optimized intentional motor behaviour. Data from healthy participants and patients with movement disorders will be presented. 

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