Trial-by-trial predictions of subjective time from human brain activity

Maxine T. Sherman, Zafeirios Fountas, Anil K. Seth, Warrick Roseboom, Ming Bo Cai
2022 PLoS Computational Biology  
Human experience of time exhibits systematic, context-dependent deviations from clock time; for example, time is experienced differently at work than on holiday. Here we test the proposal that differences from clock time in subjective experience of time arise because time estimates are constructed by accumulating the same quantity that guides perception: salient events. Healthy human participants watched naturalistic, silent videos of up to 24 seconds in duration and estimated their duration
more » ... le fMRI was acquired. We were able to reconstruct trial-by-trial biases in participants' duration reports, which reflect subjective experience of duration, purely from salient events in their visual cortex BOLD activity. By contrast, salient events in neither of two control regions–auditory and somatosensory cortex–were predictive of duration biases. These results held despite being able to (trivially) predict clock time from all three brain areas. Our results reveal that the information arising during perceptual processing of a dynamic environment provides a sufficient basis for reconstructing human subjective time duration.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010223 fatcat:7jw7gfduczatdn5uo4hcfrsl5i