The Brain Time Toolbox, a software library to retune electrophysiology data to brain dynamics

van Bree, S., Melcón, M., Kolibius, L. D., Kerrén, C., Wimber, M. and Hanslmayr, S. (2022) The Brain Time Toolbox, a software library to retune electrophysiology data to brain dynamics. Nature Human Behaviour, (doi: 10.1038/s41562-022-01386-8) (Early Online Publication)

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Human thought is highly flexible, achieved by evolving patterns of brain activity across groups of cells. Neuroscience aims to understand cognition in the brain by analysing these intricate patterns. We argue that this goal is impeded by the time format of our data—clock time. The brain is a system with its own dynamics and regime of time, with no intrinsic concern for the human-invented second. Here, we present the Brain Time Toolbox, a software library that retunes electrophysiology data in line with oscillations that orchestrate neural patterns of cognition. These oscillations continually slow down, speed up and undergo abrupt changes, introducing a disharmony between the brain’s internal regime and clock time. The toolbox overcomes this disharmony by warping the data to the dynamics of coordinating oscillations, setting oscillatory cycles as the data’s new time axis. This enables the study of neural patterns as they unfold in the brain, aiding neuroscientific enquiry into dynamic cognition. In support of this, we demonstrate that the toolbox can reveal results that are absent in a default clock time format.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by the European Research Council (grant no. 715714 for M.W. and 647954 for S.H.), the Economic and Social Research Council (ES/R010072/2 for S.H.) and the Autónoma University of Madrid (FPI-UAM 2017 for M.M.).
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wimber, Professor Maria and Hanslmayr, Professor Simon and Kolibius, Luca
Authors: van Bree, S., Melcón, M., Kolibius, L. D., Kerrén, C., Wimber, M., and Hanslmayr, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Nature Human Behaviour
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2397-3374
Published Online:20 June 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022
First Published:First published in Nature Human Behaviour 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
314597TIME - GLUING CROSS-MODAL MEMORIES VIA SYNCHRONISATIONSimon HanslmayrEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/R010072/2Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
313514The spatio-temporal representational architecture of memoryMaria WimberEuropean Commission (EC)715714Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging