Static internal representation of dynamic situations reveals time compaction in human cognition



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Villacorta-Atienza, José Antonio and Calvo Tapia, Carlos and Díez-Hermano, Sergio and Sánchez Jiménez, Abel and Lobov, Sergei and Krilova, Nadia and Murciano Cespedosa, Antonio and López-Tolsa, Gabriela E. and Pellón, Ricardo and Makarov, Valeri A. (2020) Static internal representation of dynamic situations reveals time compaction in human cognition. Journal of Advanced Research, 28 . pp. 111-125. ISSN 2090-1232

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Introduction: The human brain has evolved under the constraint of survival in complex dynamic situations. It makes fast and reliable decisions based on internal representations of the environment. Whereas neural mechanisms involved in the internal representation of space are becoming known, entire spatiotemporal cognition remains a challenge. Growing experimental evidence suggests that brain mechanisms devoted to spatial cognition may also participate in spatiotemporal information processing.
Objectives: The time compaction hypothesis postulates that the brain represents both static and dynamic situations as purely static maps. Such an internal reduction of the external complexity allows humans to process time-changing situations in real-time efficiently. According to time compaction, there may be a deep inner similarity between the representation of conventional static and dynamic visual stimuli. Here, we test the hypothesis and report the first experimental evidence of time compaction in humans.
Methods: We engaged human subjects in a discrimination-learning task consisting in the classification of static and dynamic visual stimuli. When there was a hidden correspondence between static and dynamic stimuli due to time compaction, the learning performance was expected to be modulated. We studied such a modulation experimentally and by a computational model.
Results: The collected data validated the predicted learning modulation and confirmed that time compaction is a salient cognitive strategy adopted by the human brain to process time-changing situations. Mathematical modelling supported the finding. We also revealed that men are more prone to exploit time compaction in accordance with the context of the hypothesis as a cognitive basis for survival. Conclusions: The static internal representation of dynamic situations is a human cognitive mechanism involved in decision-making and strategy planning to cope with time-changing environments. The finding opens a new venue to understand how humans efficiently interact with our dynamic world and thrive in nature.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Spatiotemporal cognition; Decision making; Dynamic environments; Strategy planning
Subjects:Sciences > Computer science > Artificial intelligence
Medical sciences > Biology > Neurosciences
ID Code:65920
Deposited On:02 Jun 2021 08:22
Last Modified:03 Jun 2022 11:18

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