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.
We are constantly building expectations about where and when relevant events will happen. Although the mechanisms by which space can bias perception and action have been long investigated, the mechanisms and effects of temporal expectation have started to be studied only recently.
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, the effects of causality on time estimation have not been much investigated. In this line of research, we investigate how causality can modulate temporal perception and what neural mechanisms underlie these effects.
The ability to learn the temporal relationship between stimuli and events in the environment is ubiquitous in nature, 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.