Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2005 Feb;8(2):234-41. Epub 2005 Jan 16.

A representation of the hazard rate of elapsed time in macaque area LIP.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Primate Research Center and Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Box 357290, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Erratum in

  • Nat Neurosci. 2005 Mar;8(3):396.


The capacity to anticipate the timing of environmental cues allows us to allocate sensory resources at the right time and prepare actions. Such anticipation requires knowledge of elapsed time and of the probability that an event will occur. Here we show that neurons in the parietal cortex represent the probability, as a function of time, that a salient event is likely to occur. Rhesus monkeys were trained to make eye movements to peripheral targets after a light dimmed. Within a block of trials, the 'go' times were drawn from either a bimodal or unimodal distribution of random numbers. Neurons in the lateral intraparietal area showed anticipatory activity that revealed an internal representation of both elapsed time and the probability that the 'go' signal was about to occur (termed the hazard rate). The results indicate that the parietal cortex contains circuitry for representing the time structure of environmental cues over a range of seconds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center