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Session S25 - New Methods and Emerging Applications in Dynamics, Networks, and Control

Tuesday, July 13, 18:20 ~ 18:50 UTC-3

Response to perturbations as a built-in feature in a mathematical model for paced finger tapping

Rodrigo Laje

University of Quilmes, Argentina   -   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paced finger tapping is one of the simplest tasks to study sensorimotor synchronization. The subject is instructed to tap in synchrony with a periodic sequence of brief tones, and the time difference (called asynchrony) between each response and the corresponding stimulus is recorded. Despite its simplicity, this task helps to unveil interesting features of the underlying neural system and the error correction mechanism responsible for synchronization. Perturbation experiments are usually performed to probe the subject's response, for example in the form of a ``step change'', i.e.\ an unexpected change in tempo. The asynchrony is the usual observable in such experiments and it is chosen as the main variable in many mathematical models that attempt to describe the phenomenon. In this work we show that although asynchrony can be perfectly described in operational terms, it is not well defined as a model variable when tempo perturbations are considered. We introduce an alternative variable and a mathematical model that intrinsically takes into account the perturbation, and make theoretical predictions about the response to novel perturbations based on the geometrical organization of the trajectories in phase space. Our proposal is relevant to understand interpersonal synchronization and the synchronization to non-periodic stimuli.

Joint work with Claudia R. González (University of Quilmes).

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