Implicit and explicit temporal order in the structuring of the conscious "now"

Abstract : Time in the brain can be considered both as a dimension structuring the organization of perception and as a conscious content: this confers to time a particular flavor that makes it a paramount object of study to understand the basis of human cognition. The present thesis aims at empirically determining to which extent the temporal ordering of information relates to the perceived order of events, both implicitly and explicitly. First, we investigated how time may become an explicit conscious content by showing that temporal order is a psychological bias, independent of attention. A follow-up magnetoencephalography study revealed that participants having a large order bias (i.e. their perceived synchrony corresponds to a large physical asynchrony) also showed the largest fluctuations in ongoing alpha power when perceived orders were contrasted for a given physical asynchrony. Alpha oscillations are herein argued to be a means to compensate for an individual internal bias. Second, we investigated how time implicitly shaped the perception of visual sequences by studying postdiction, i.e. when late inputs strikingly influence the representation of earlier information. In the Rabbit illusion, the intermediate flash of a visual sequence is spatially mislocalized due to the temporal regularity of the sequence. We showed that parieto-frontal regions were more activated following the presentation of the full sequence when the illusion was perceived. These results suggest that high-order regions may contribute to the postdictive reconstruction of a visual sequence, consistently with the hypothesis that the illusion is shaped by prior knowledge on a stimulus speed.
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Laetitia Grabot. Implicit and explicit temporal order in the structuring of the conscious "now". Cognitive Sciences. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066405⟩. ⟨tel-01759355⟩

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