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Title: Dynamics of temporal anticipation in perception and action
Author: Heideman, Simone
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 8344
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The selective deployment of attention over time optimises our perception and action at the moments when relevant events are expected to happen. Such "temporal orienting" to moments when something is going to happen is especially useful when this information can be combined with predictions about where and what events are likely to occur. A large body of research has already established how temporal predictions dynamically influence our perception and action, but questions remain regarding the neural bases of these attentional mechanisms. In this thesis I present three magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies that I conducted to investigate anticipatory neural dynamics associated with spatial-temporal orienting of attention for perception and action. I also investigate and discuss how such anticipatory dynamics change with ageing and neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD), and how these anticipatory neural dynamics behave in situations where a complex, hidden spatial-temporal structure is present. In Chapter 1, I introduce the topic of this thesis by reviewing the literature on temporal orienting of attention and by introducing my specific research questions. In Chapter 2, I present an MEG study on anticipatory neural dynamics of joint spatial-temporal orienting of attention in the visual domain, in younger and older adults. This study shows that neural dynamics with spatial, temporal and spatial-temporal orienting are all differentially affected by ageing. In Chapter 3, I describe an MEG experiment that investigates anticipatory neural dynamics during spatial-temporal motor preparation and compares PD participants to healthy control participants. This study reveals that both behavioural and neural dynamics with temporal orienting are affected in PD. In Chapter 4, I describe an experiment that explores how an implicit spatial-temporal structure is utilised to predict and prepare for upcoming actions. This study shows that motor cortical excitability is dynamically modulated in anticipation of the location and timing of events, even when such expectations are hidden in complex visual-motor sequences that remain largely implicit. In Chapter 5, the General discussion, I place these results in their wider context and discuss limitations and future directions.
Supervisor: van Ede, Freek ; Nobre, Kia Sponsor: Medical Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychiatry ; Psychology ; Cognitive neuroscience ; Ageing ; Neural oscillations ; Parkinson's disease ; MEG ; Temporal orienting ; Attention