Project Details


We are constantly estimating time in our everyday lives. Indeed, this information is used to frame many aspects of our perception, memory, and general understanding of the world. Research suggests that our personal experience of time is not consistent and can be influenced by various internal and external factors. While brain imaging techniques have contributed to advancing our knowledge of how the brain estimates time, little is known about the neural mechanisms that underlie time perception and estimation. This interdisciplinary project brings together expertise from signal processing, neuroimaging and psychology, to develop an innovative data-driven computational tool, that when combined with brain imaging and behavioral measurements, can identify specific brain processes that cause differences in how we experience time. The knowledge gained may also have implications for neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for which changes in time perception are common. The researchers also aim to make the signal processing tools they develop broadly available and conduct extensive outreach and webinars to increase awareness and utilization of the research.The proposed research aims to uncover the specific neural mechanisms that contribute to variations in our subjective sense of time, which are currently not well understood. By utilizing matrix factorization, the project offers an innovative data-driven computational tool, specifically developed for identifying the differences (both spatially and temporally) between two neural datasets. This new approach deviates from most conventional analyses, which make stronger assumptions about the nature of the underlying neural processes (e.g., temporal or spatial adjacency). Thus, the technique developed here may offer new insights across a wide variety of behaviors and their neural correlates. The project hopes to develop this technique and utilize it in the context of the neural mechanisms underlying changes in an individual’s subjective estimation of time while three factors are manipulated (memory, sensory processing, and arousal). The proposed computational tool can localize specific neural activities that give rise to the observed differences, as well as identify when these activities occur. Understanding of the neural mechanisms that contribute to the variability in time perception and its estimation holds great significance in advancing basic neuroscience research and theories about time estimation.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date8/15/237/31/26


  • National Science Foundation: $879,091.00


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