James Danckert and I have been working together for sometime now on the concept of updating. Suggested by our experiences with people with right brain injury (often with neglect, but not always), we began to conceive of a deficit in the ability to recognize that environmental contingencies had changed, and to update one’s model of the environment accordingly. We have since done a series of studies on control and brain damaged volunteers showing that just such a deficit is prevalent after brain injury, and we have begun to work out some of the cortical network that supports it at both computational and anatomical levels.

In our most recently published paper, we combine the notion of updating with James’ observation of disordered temporal estimation in a patient with spatial neglect after right brain injury. In a study of young control participants, we found that people do build up a perceptual model of temporal intervals and that they can use this to make successful predictions about future temporal events. Interestingly, the ability to update this representation when the time frame shifts is correlated with the perceptual performance. If you are interested in this work please see the preprint, and be sure to let us know your thoughts.