Visual cortex encodes timing information in humans and mice

Qingpeng Yu, Zedong Bi, Shize Jiang, Biao Yan, Heming Chen, Yiting Wang, Yizhan Miao, Kexin Li, Zixuan Wei, Yuanting Xie, Xinrong Tan, Xiaodi Liu, Hang Fu, Liyuan Cui, Lu Xing, Shijun Weng, Xin Wang, Yuanzhi Yuan, Changsong Zhou, Gang WangLiang Li, Lan Ma, Ying Mao*, Liang Chen*, Jiayi Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the importance of timing in our daily lives, our understanding of how the human brain mediates second-scale time perception is limited. Here, we combined intracranial stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) recordings in epileptic patients and circuit dissection in mice to show that visual cortex (VC) encodes timing information. We first asked human participants to perform an interval-timing task and found VC to be a key timing brain area. We then conducted optogenetic experiments in mice and showed that VC plays an important role in the interval-timing behavior. We further found that VC neurons fired in a time-keeping sequential manner and exhibited increased excitability in a timed manner. Finally, we used a computational model to illustrate a self-correcting learning process that generates interval-timed activities with scalar-timing property. Our work reveals how localized oscillations in VC occurring in the seconds to deca-seconds range relate timing information from the external world to guide behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4194-4211.e10
Number of pages29
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • SEEG
  • human visual cortex
  • mouse visual cortex
  • time-keeping sequence
  • timing


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