Internal Rhythms and External Drivers: Studying Cognition and the Brain through Temporal Structure

by Prof. Ayelet Landau, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

will take place on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024 from 15:00 to 16:00 hours in CBBM Building, Ground Floor, Seminar Room Levi-Montalcini.

Host: Prof. Jonas Obleser
Institute of Psychology I

Abstract: Cognitive and brain systems often exhibit spontaneous rhythms, emerging from neuronal populations and measurable both neuronally and behaviorally in perceptual and motor systems. Additionally, environmental temporal structures can shape behavior and brain activity. In this talk, I will present rhythmic motifs in cognition and demonstrate the study of the interaction between internal and external rhythms in three different lines of work. First, I will discuss the temporal structure in natural speech and how the brain processes the rhythms of prosody. In the second study, I will explore spontaneous motor tempo, establishing that individual differences in personal tempo account for varying susceptibility to external rhythms, both on a personal and interpersonal level. Finally, I will briefly present recent findings showing how neural responses to external temporal structures might impact the subjective sense of self and states of consciousness. Although drawing on diverse literatures within cognitive neuroscience, the work presented will exemplify how studying different sources of rhythms in tandem can enrich our understanding of basic cognitive functions.