ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (3): 385-393.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00385

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The Cognitive and Neural Mechanism of Temporal Expectation

QIU Junjie1; BI Cuihua2; YUAN Xiangyong1; HUANG Xiting1   

  1. (1 Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China) (2 School of Educational Science, Sichuan Normal University, Research Center of Psychological Development and Application.Chengdu, 610068, China)
  • Received:2013-12-14 Online:2015-03-15 Published:2015-03-15
  • Contact: HUANG Xiting, E-mail:


Temporal expectation is the ability of individuals to predict when the target stimulus will happen by using time information in the environment. The cognitive models of the temporal expectation can be classified into two categories. The first category, which includes trace-conditioning model, dual-process model, dynamic attending theory and temporal orienting model, focuses on the producing procedure of the temporal expectation. The other category, for example, strategy model and temporal re-orienting model, focuses on explaining the updating procedure of the temporal expectation. Researches about neural substrates of temporal expectation confirmed that different types of temporal expectation activate different cortex areas, which indicates the producing procedure and the updating procedure of temporal expectation are separated. The producing procedure activates the left inferior parietal and premotor areas, while the updating procedure activates the right prefrontal cortex.

Key words: temporal expectation, variable foreperiod, rhythm temporal expectation, temporal orienting, neural substrate