Low-frequency cortical oscillations are modulated by temporal prediction and temporal error coding

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Abstract

Monitoring and updating temporal predictions are critical abilities for adaptive behavior. Here, we investigated whether neural oscillations are related to violation and updating of temporal predictions. Human participants performed an experiment in which they had to generate a target at an expected time point, by pressing a button while taking into account a variable delay between the act and the stimulus occurrence. Our behavioral results showed that participants quickly adapted their temporal predictions in face of an error. Concurrent electrophysiological (EEG) data showed that temporal errors elicited markers that are classically related to error coding. Furthermore, intertrial phase coherence of frontal theta oscillations was modulated by error magnitude, possibly indexing the degree of surprise. Finally, we found that delta phase at stimulus onset was correlated with future behavioral adjustments. Together, our findings suggest that low frequency oscillations play a key role in monitoring and in updating temporal predictions.

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