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  • Author or Editor: Bin Yin x
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The major tenets of beat-frequency/coincidence-detection models of reward-related timing are reviewed in light of recent behavioral and neurobiological findings. This includes the emphasis on a core timing network embedded in the motor system that is comprised of a corticothalamic-basal ganglia circuit. Therein, a central hub provides timing pulses (i.e., predictive signals) to the entire brain, including a set of distributed satellite regions in the cerebellum, cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus that are selectively engaged in timing in a manner that is more dependent upon the specific sensory, behavioral, and contextual requirements of the task. Oscillation/coincidence-detection models also emphasize the importance of a tuned ‘perception’ learning and memory system whereby target durations are detected by striatal networks of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) through the coincidental activation of different neural populations, typically utilizing patterns of oscillatory input from the cortex and thalamus or derivations thereof (e.g., population coding) as a time base. The measure of success of beat-frequency/coincidence-detection accounts, such as the Striatal Beat-Frequency model of reward-related timing (SBF), is their ability to accommodate new experimental findings while maintaining their original framework, thereby making testable experimental predictions concerning diagnosis and treatment of issues related to a variety of dopamine-dependent basal ganglia disorders, including Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Bilateral intratympanic sodium arsenate injections (100 mg/ml in isotonic saline) in adult male Long Evans rats produced impairments in allocentric navigation using a 12-arm radial maze procedure as well as a motor test battery designed to evaluate vestibular function. In contrast, no impairments in the accuracy or precision of duration reproduction using 20-s and 80-s peak-interval procedures were observed when both target durations were associated with the same lever response, but distinguished by signal modality (e.g., light or sound). In contrast, an ordinal-reproduction procedure with 800, 3200, and 12,800 ms standards requiring the timing of self-initiated movements during the production phase revealed large impairments in the accuracy and precision of timing for vestibular lesioned rats. These impairments were greater on trials in which self-initiated body movements (e.g., holding down the response lever for a fixed duration) were required without the support of external stimuli signaling the onset and offset of the reproduced duration in contrast to trials in which such external support was provided. The conclusion is that space and time are separable entities and not simply the product of a generalized system, but they can be integrated into a common metric using gravity and self-initiated movement as a reference.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Male Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed to social defeat and subordination by aggressive male Long–Evans rats. The social defeat procedure involved the continuous exposure to an aggressive resident for 10 days, while living in a protective cage within the resident’s home cage with daily brief confrontations. These stress experiences resulted in 1) reduced body weight; 2) decreased social interaction; 3) increased ultrasonic vocalizations; 4) reduced sucrose preference (anhedonia); and 5) decreased clock speed while timing 15-s and 45-s target durations in a bi-peak procedure. Treatment with ketamine (15 mg/kg, i.p.) produced a rapid reversal of anhedonia and overproduction of duration. Taken together, these data provide the first evaluation of the effects of continuous social defeat and its associated depression-like symptoms on timing and time perception using a ‘state change’ design.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Changes in the palaeoenvironment and paleoclimate expedite the process of evolutionary divergence in animals. The evolutionary events of some small mammals distributed in Xinjiang Arid Region remain ambiguous. Thus, it is necessary to predict their evolutionary histories based on divergence estimates. Some museum specimens were involved in this analysis because of sampling limitation for threatened species in the arid region. A related problem is that some mutilated specimens without complete taxonomic data made it difficult to directly analyze species divergence. Here, sequences of cytochrome c oxydase I were used to identify museum specimens and combined with cytochrome b to estimate the recent divergence of extant small mammals constrained with eight fossil calibrations. The results showed that the massive species differentiation emerged during the Middle and Late Miocene periods. We inferred that differentiation of these small mammals might be associated with the retreat of the Tethys Sea from the Tarim Basin around the Eocene-Oligocene boundary and the global climate fluctuations during the Miocene period. Furthermore, the aridification and changes in the Taklimakan and Gurbantunggut Deserts might have driven the diversification of intraspecies and the emergence of cryptic species since the Late Pleistocene.

In: Animal Biology