Dedicated clock/timing-circuit theories of time perception and timed performance

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;829:75-99. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1782-2_5.


Scalar Timing Theory (an information-processing version of Scalar Expectancy Theory) and its evolution into the neurobiologically plausible Striatal Beat-Frequency (SBF) theory of interval timing are reviewed. These pacemaker/accumulator or oscillation/coincidence detection models are then integrated with the Adaptive Control of Thought-Rational (ACT-R) cognitive architecture as dedicated timing modules that are able to make use of the memory and decision-making mechanisms contained in ACT-R. The different predictions made by the incorporation of these timing modules into ACT-R are discussed as well as the potential limitations. Novel implementations of the original SBF model that allow it to be incorporated into ACT-R in a more fundamental fashion than the earlier simulations of Scalar Timing Theory are also considered in conjunction with the proposed properties and neural correlates of the "internal clock".

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Humans
  • Information Theory*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*