The Timing and Cognition Laboratory

The Timing and Cognition Laboratory is a research group in the Center for Mathematics, Computing and Cognition (CMCC) at Federal University of ABC (UFABC), São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. The laboratory is part of the Interdisciplinary Unit for Applied Neuroscience (NINA).
The Laboratory is headed by Professors Marcelo S. Caetano, Andre M. Cravo, Marcelo B. Reyes, and Peter M. E. Claessens. It boasts a vibrant community of dedicated graduate and undergraduate students, postdocs, and collaborators.
Broadly speaking, our interest is to understand how we perceive and use time in different domains. Our research combines methods such as visual psychophysics, eye-tracking, computational modeling, single-unit recordings in freely-moving rodents, intracerebral microinjections, transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and non-invasive electrophysiological recordings (EEG) in humans.

Research Interests

The Modulation of Time Perception

Emotional content, learning, context, task demands, and mood can all influence temporal perception. This research aims to investigate how these factors modulate temporal perception across various behavioral tasks and temporal measures.


Estimating durations between hundreds of milliseconds and seconds is a skill we all use daily. Yet, the neural mechanisms that enable this temporal processing remain largely unexplored. This research line aims to shed light on these mechanisms, which could have significant implications for various fields, from cognitive psychology to neurobiology. By combining behavioral tasks with methods such as EEG, single-unit electrophysiology, and pharmacological manipulations, we hope to provide a comprehensive understanding of the neural correlates of temporal processing.

Time and Causality

Timing is crucial for our sense of causality. Several experiments have shown that temporal contiguity influences our sense of two events being perceived as causally related. However, there has been a recent increase in studies examining how causality modulates time estimation. In this line of research, we investigate how causality can modulate temporal perception and what neural mechanisms underlie these effects.

Temporal Learning

The ability to learn the temporal relationship between stimuli and events in the environment is ubiquitous, but its mechanisms are not yet completely understood. In this line of research, we search for the behavioral and biological factors that affect how we learn those temporal relationships in projects involving human participants and rodents.