We organise an ECVP Symposium on "The Spatial Character ofTemporal Processes"
All sensory signals extend in both space and time. Although the psychophysical and neuronal mechanisms of spatial vision are well known, how temporal information is processed in the brain, and how temporal and spatial information are combined, are far from clear. A fundamental question regarding time perception is whether temporal processing is centralized in the brain or distributed as a function of stimulus modality and task. Most timing models hypothesize that we have an internal clock in our brain, which transcends sensory modalities (i.e. visual, auditory etc.). Recent studies, however, have challenged this supramodal clock idea demonstrating that, for instance, our perceived duration of brief dynamic intervals can be altered at a specific spatial location by purely visual adaptation to high temporal frequencies. In fact, a growing body of evidence now suggests that temporal and spatial dimensions are not processed independently, and that timing might have a spatial component. Sensory areas involved in visuospatial and motion perception (i.e. MT+) have been shown to be involved in visual duration perception, supporting some correspondence between space and time. Higher up in the visual processing hierarchy, neurons in the Lateral Intraparietal (LIP) and the Inferior Parietal Lobule (IPL) exhibit spatio-temporal predictive properties, in particular the IPL has been suggested to be a part of a broader network involved in judging the order of multiple events displaced in time. Although evidence suggests that the mechanisms underlying ordinal and metric judgments of time are different, how these two interact to yield the spatial dependencies we observe in the temporal data is yet to be understood. This symposium will aim at providing a general framework to answer the critical question of how visual space and time are intertwined and interact in our perception of the dynamic visual environment.