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A Dynamical Systems Perspective on Flexible Motor Timing

Publication year 2018
Published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Authors Evan D Remington, Seth W Egger, D. Narain, Jing Wang, Mehrdad Jazayeri

A hallmark of higher brain function is the ability to rapidly and flexibly adjust behavioral responses based on internal and external cues. Here, we examine the computational principles that allow decisions and actions to unfold flexibly in time. We adopt a dynamical systems perspective and outline how temporal flexibility in such a system can be achieved through manipulations of inputs and initial conditions. We then review evidence from experiments in nonhuman primates that support this interpretation. Finally, we explore the broader utility and limitations of the dynamical systems perspective as a general framework for addressing open questions related to the temporal control of movements, as well as in the domains of learning and sequence generation.

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