Fuat Balci

Fuat Balci
University of Manitoba | UMN · Department of Biological Sciences

Ph.D.

About

131
Publications
23,598
Reads
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2,589
Citations
Citations since 2016
74 Research Items
1846 Citations
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Introduction
I am primarily interested in the study of time perception, decision making and numerical cognition from both empirical and theoretical perspectives with a focus on reward-rate maximization and cognitive health. I work on computational models of these fundamental cognitive processes, test model-based predictions regarding temporal and perceptual decision-making, investigate the brain mechanisms that underlie these functions in both humans and animals, and study how these processes are altered in CNS disorders and aging.
Additional affiliations
February 2021 - present
University of Manitoba
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 2021 - March 2021
Koc University
Position
  • Professor
June 2019 - February 2021
Koc University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
September 2008 - December 2010
Princeton University
Field of study
  • Psychology & Neuroscience
October 2004 - October 2007
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Field of study
  • Cognitive Psychology
September 2002 - October 2004
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Field of study
  • Cognitive Psychology

Publications

Publications (131)
Article
Full-text available
Human and mouse subjects tried to anticipate at which of 2 locations a reward would appear. On a randomly scheduled fraction of the trials, it appeared with a short latency at one location; on the complementary fraction, it appeared after a longer latency at the other location. Subjects of both species accurately assessed the exogenous uncertainty...
Article
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Speed-accuracy trade-offs strongly influence the rate of reward that can be earned in many decision-making tasks. Previous reports suggest that human participants often adopt suboptimal speed-accuracy trade-offs in single session, two-alternative forced-choice tasks. We investigated whether humans acquired optimal speed-accuracy trade-offs when ext...
Article
Full-text available
We show that simple assumptions about neural processing lead to a model of interval timing as a temporal integration process, in which a noisy firing-rate representation of time rises linearly on average toward a response threshold over the course of an interval. Our assumptions include: that neural spike trains are approximately independent Poisso...
Article
Significance A fundamental question is whether experience shapes appropriate behavior by selective reinforcement of that behavior or whether it instills knowledge of environmental parameters, which knowledge may then be deployed to direct behavior in novel situations. We initially trained mice on three different environmental parameters (time inter...
Article
Decisions are made based on the integration of available evidence. The noise in evidence accumulation leads to a particular speed-accuracy tradeoff in decision-making, which can be modulated and optimized by adaptive decision threshold setting. Given the effect of pre-SMA activity on striatal excitability, we hypothesized that the inhibition of pre...
Article
Full-text available
Animals learn multiple spatiotemporal contingencies and organize their anticipatory responses accordingly. The representational/computational capacity that underlies such spatiotemporally guided behaviors is not fully understood. To this end, we investigated whether mice make temporal inferences of novel locations based on previously learned spatio...
Article
A recent line of research has shown that humans can keep track of the direction and magnitude of their timing errors without relying on feedback. But these studies tested temporal error monitoring explicitly by interrogating participants regarding their errors, which might have inadvertently primed the prospective coupling between the first-order t...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns triggered worldwide changes in the daily routines of human experience. The Blursday database provides repeated measures of subjective time and related processes from participants in nine countries tested on 14 questionnaires and 15 behavioural tasks during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 2,840 partic...
Article
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Numerical and temporal control of behavior is ubiquitous across many species of animals. Recent studies showed that in the presence of reliable discriminative stimuli, mice ignore temporal relations and probabilistic information but when discriminative stimuli become non-informative, the same mice can spontaneously start relying on previously exper...
Article
Many conventional interval timing tasks do not contain asymmetric cost (loss) functions and thereby favor high temporal accuracy. On the other hand, asymmetric cost functions that differentially penalize/reinforce the early or late responses result in adaptive biases (shift) in timed responses due to timing uncertainty. Consequently, optimal perfor...
Article
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Many studies on the drift-diffusion model (DDM) explain decision-making based on a unified analysis of both accuracy and response times. This review provides an in-depth account of the recent advances in DDM research which ground different DDM parameters on several brain areas, including the cortex and basal ganglia. Furthermore, we discuss the cha...
Article
Cross‐category hues are differentiated easier than otherwise equidistant hues that belong to the same linguistic category. This effect is typically manifested through both accuracy and response time gains in tasks with a memory component, whereas only response times are affected when there is no memory component. This raises the question of whether...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns triggered worldwide changes in the daily routines of human experience. The Blursday database provides measures of subjective time and related processes from more than 2,800 participants (over 9 countries) tested on 14 questionnaires and 15 behavioral tasks during the Covid-19 pandemic. The easy-to-proc...
Article
The role of specific cognitive processes in deviations from constant discounting in intertemporal choice is not well understood. We evaluated decreased impatience in intertemporal choice tasks in a fashion that isolates discounting rate and nonlinearity in long scale time representation; nonlinear time representation was expected to explain inconsi...
Article
Full-text available
A key aspect of metacognition is the ability to monitor performance. A recent line of work has shown that error-monitoring ability captures both the magnitude and direction of timing errors, thereby pointing at the metric composition of error monitoring [e.g., Akdoğan and Balcı (J Exp Psychol https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000265, 2017)]. These stu...
Article
Full-text available
Rodents can be trained to associate different durations with different stimuli (e.g., light/sound). When the associated stimuli are presented together, maximal responding is observed around the average of individual durations (akin to averaging). The current study investigated whether mice can also average independently trained numerosities. Mice w...
Article
Error monitoring refers to the ability to monitor one's own task performance without explicit feedback. This ability is studied typically in two-alternative forced-choice (2AFC) paradigms. Recent research showed that humans can also keep track of the magnitude and direction of errors in different magnitude domains (e.g., numerosity, duration, lengt...
Article
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How timing behavior is altered in different neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders is a contemporary research question. Genetic murine models (GMM) that offer high construct validity also serve as useful tools to investigate this question. But the literature on timing behavior of different GMMs largely remains to be consolidated. The cu...
Article
Pro-inflammatory cytokines have been shown to be associated with the development of seizures in the WAG/Rij rat model of absence epilepsy. Importantly, WAG/Rij rats also exhibit cognitive deficits and depression-like behaviors. It is possible that pro-inflammatory cytokines mediate these comorbid conditions of absence epilepsy given their well-esta...
Article
Full-text available
Timing uncertainty is a critical component of temporal decision-making, as it determines the decision strategies that maximize reward rate. However, little is known about the biological substrates of timing uncertainty. In this study, we report that the CA3 subregion of the ventral hippocampus (vCA3), a relatively unexplored area in timing, is crit...
Preprint
Full-text available
The role of specific cognitive processes in deviations from constant discounting in intertemporal choice is not well understood. We evaluated decreased impatience in intertemporal choice tasks independent of discounting rate and non-linearity in long-scale time representation; nonlinear time representation was expected to explain inconsistencies in...
Article
Full-text available
The brain may be considered as a synchronized dynamic network with several coherent dynamical units. However, concerns remain whether synchronizability is a stable state in the brain networks. If so, which index can best reveal the synchronizability in brain networks? To answer these questions, we tested the application of the spectral graph theory...
Article
Animals keep track of time intervals in the seconds to minutes range with, on average, high accuracy but substantial trial-to-trial variability. The ability to detect the statistical signatures of such timing behavior is an indispensable feature of a good and theoretically-tractable testing procedure. A widely used interval timing procedure is the...
Article
Our subjective experience of time intervals is susceptible to the effects of the various properties of the timed stimuli/events (e.g., motion, size, affect). For instance, subjective time is considerably lengthened when observing faster and shortened when observing slower walking animations. Such effects on perceived time have been investigated wid...
Article
Full-text available
Decision-making is one of the cognitive domains which has been under-investigated in animal models of cognitive aging along with its neurobiological correlates. This study investigated the latent variables of the decision process using the hierarchical drift–diffusion model (HDDM). Neurobiological correlates of these processes were examined via imm...
Article
The linguistic category-advantage in color perception refers to better discrimination performance for stimuli that belong to different categories (e.g., green vs. blue) than equidistant stimuli from the same category (e.g., blue). Despite the robust nature of category-advantage in color perception, the related cognitive and neural mechanisms are no...
Article
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Editorial on the Research Topic Integrating Time & Number: From Neural Bases to Behavioral Processes Through Development and Disease
Article
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Understanding how people rate their confidence is critical for the characterization of a wide range of perceptual, memory, motor and cognitive processes. To enable the continued exploration of these processes, we created a large database of confidence studies spanning a broad set of paradigms, participant populations and fields of study. The data f...
Article
Age-related neurobiological and cognitive alterations suggest that interval timing (as a related function) is also altered in aging, which can, in turn, disrupt timing-dependent functions. We investigated alterations in interval timing with aging and accompanying neurobiological changes. We tested 4-6, 10-12, and 18-20 months-old mice on the dual p...
Article
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Humans and animals do not only keep track of time intervals but they can also make decisions about durations. Temporal bisection is a psychophysical task that is widely used to assess the latter ability via categorization of durations as short or long. Many existing models of performance in temporal bisection primarily account for choice proportion...
Article
Previous work revealed that humans can keep track of the direction and degree of errors in their temporal and numerical reproductions/estimations. Given the behavioral and psychophysical commonalities to various magnitudes and the implication of an overlapping neuroanatomical locus for their representation, we hypothesized that participants would c...
Chapter
Full-text available
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric condition that is primarily associated with anxiety provoking repetitive thoughts (i.e., obsessions) and actions that are manifested to neutralize the resultant anxiety (i.e., compulsions). Interestingly, OCD patients continue compulsive behaviors (e.g., repeatedly rechecking if the door is locke...
Article
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How interval timing is affected by aging constitutes one of the contemporary research questions. There is however a limited number of studies that investigate this research question in animal models of aging. The current study investigated how temporal decision-making is affected by aging. Initially, we trained young (2–3 month-old) and old C57BL/6...
Preprint
Full-text available
To characterize differences between different state-related brain networks, statistical graph theory approaches have been employed to identify informative, topological properties. However, dynamical properties have been studied little in this regard. Our goal here was to introduce spectral graph theory as a reliable approach to determine dynamic pr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding how people rate their confidence is critical for characterizing a wide range of perceptual, memory, motor, and cognitive processes. However, progress has been slowed by the difficulty of collecting new data and the unavailability of existing data. To address this issue, we created a large database of confidence studies spanning a broa...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral Systems Theory suggests that observable behavior is embedded in a hierarchy. A CS elicits behavior because, after learning, it activates a pathway through this hierarchy. Much of Timberlake's body of work on Behavioral Systems Theory focuses on the conditions that support the conditioning of these pathways. Most notably, his work shows t...
Article
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Investigations in the temporal estimation domain are quite vast in the range of milliseconds, seconds, and minutes. This study aimed to determine the psychophysical function that best describes long-range time interval estimation and evaluate the effect of numerals in duration presentation on the form of this function. Participants indicated on a l...
Article
Full-text available
Investigations in the temporal estimation domain are quite vast in the range of milliseconds, seconds, and minutes. This study aimed to determine the psychophysical function that best describes long-range time interval estimation and evaluate the effect of numerals in duration presentation on the form of this function. Participants indicated on a l...
Article
Full-text available
The perception of quantities has been suggested to rely on shared, magnitude-based representational systems that preserve metric properties. As such, different quantifiable dimensions that can characterize any given stimulus (e.g., size, speed, or numerosity) have been shown to modulate the perceived duration of these stimuli—a finding that has bee...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In-situ exploration of heart rate (HR) zones during cardio training (CT) is important for training efficiency. However, approaches for monitoring HR, either depend on complex visualizations on small screens (i.e., smartwatches) or intrusive modalities (i.e. haptic, auditory) that might force the attention to the information. We developed an early p...
Article
Temporal information processing in the seconds‐to‐minutes range is disrupted in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we investigated the timing behavior of the 5xFAD mouse model of AD in the peak interval (PI) procedure. Nine‐month‐old female mice were trained with sucrose solution reinforcement for their first response after a fi...
Article
Full-text available
Many organisms can time intervals flexibly on average with high accuracy but substantial variability between the trials. One of the core psychophysical features of interval timing functions relates to the signatures of this timing variability; for a given individual, the standard deviation of timed responses/time estimates is nearly proportional to...
Article
Recent studies have shown that participants can keep track of the magnitude and direction of their errors while reproducing target intervals (Akdoğan & Balcı, 2017) and producing numerosities with sequentially presented auditory stimuli (Duyan & Balcı, 2018). Although the latter work demonstrated that error judgments were driven by the number rathe...
Article
Full-text available
The physical properties of events are known to modulate perceived time. This study tested the effect of different quantitative (walking speed) and qualitative (walking-forward vs. walking-backward) features of observed motion on time perception in three complementary experiments. Participants were tested in the temporal discrimination (bisection) t...
Article
We investigated interval timing behavior of 10-month-old male and female 3xTg-AD mice compared with their B6129F2/J wild type controls using the peak interval procedure with a 15 s target interval. Multiple parameters reflecting different aspects of timing performance were extracted from steady-state anticipatory nose-poking behavior using two diff...
Article
Full-text available
Error monitoring has recently been discovered to have informationally rich foundations in the timing domain. Based on the common properties of magnitude-based representations, we hypothesized that judgments on the direction and the magnitude of errors would also reflect their objective counterparts in the numerosity domain. In two experiments, we p...
Article
Full-text available
One of the critical factors that guide choice behavior is the prior bias of the decision-maker with respect to different options, namely, the relative readiness by which the decision-maker opts for a specific choice. Although previous neuroimaging work has shown decision bias related activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, intraparietal sulcus (IPS)...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent design approaches of wearables for physical exercising are often alienating the data from its specific experiences and/or limited to conventional display modalities for presenting information. As an alternative perspective, the aim of this paper is to explore in-situ social and individual experiences that activity related dynamic changes on...
Article
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Genetically modified mice are used as models for a variety of human behavioral conditions. However, behavioral phenotyping can be a major bottleneck in mouse genetics because many of the classic protocols are too long and/or are vulnerable to unaccountable sources of variance, leading to inconsistent results between centers. We developed a home-cag...
Book
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Timing and Time Perception: Procedures, Measures, and Applications is a one-of-a-kind, collective effort to present the most utilized and known methods on timing and time perception. Specifically, it covers methods and analysis on circadian timing, synchrony perception, reaction/response time, time estimation, and alternative methods for clinical/d...
Article
Full-text available
Elucidation of the neural correlates of time perception constitutes an important research topic in cognitive neuroscience. The focus to date has been on durations in the millisecond to seconds range, but here we used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine brain functional connectivity during much longer durations (i.e., 15 min). For this purpose,...
Article
Timing is an integral part of physical activities. Walking as a routine form of physical activity might affect interval timing primarily in two different ways within the pacemaker-accumulator timing-theoretic framework: (1) by increasing the speed of the pacemaker due to its physiological effects; (2) by decreasing attention to time and consequentl...
Article
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How do animals adapt their behaviors to changing conditions? This question relates to the debate between associative versus representational/computational approaches in cognitive science. An influential line of research that has significantly shaped the conceptual development of animal learning over decades has primarily focused on the role of asso...
Article
Rahnev & Denison (R&D) argue against normative theories and in favor of a more descriptive “standard observer model” of perceptual decision making. We agree with the authors in many respects, but we argue that optimality (specifically, reward-rate maximization) has proved demonstrably useful as a hypothesis, contrary to the authors’ claims.
Article
Full-text available
Circadian clock is known to adapt to environmental changes and can significantly influence cognitive and physiological functions. In this work, we report specific behavioral, cognitive, and sleep homeostatic defects in the after hours (Afh) circadian mouse mutant, which is characterized by lengthened circadian period. We found that the circadian ti...
Article
Animals use estimates of time intervals to adaptively guide their anticipatory actions. New research on mice shows that photostimulation of the neural pathway that coordinates drinking behavior delays subsequent anticipatory responses by pausing/resetting the internal stopwatch.
Article
As we age, there is a wide range of changes in motor, sensory, cognitive, and temporal processing due to alterations in the functioning of the central nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Specifically, aging is associated with degradations in gait; altered processing of the individual sensory systems; modifications in executive control, memory, and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Subjective duration estimates are positively related to the magnitude of various non-temporal stimuli (e.g. Xuan et al., 2007). Our study investigated whether temporal and spatial magnitude information conveyed by linguistic stimuli would affect perceived duration in a temporal reproduction task. We used time-related words referring to different ex...
Article
Full-text available
Optimal performance in temporal decisions requires the integration of timing uncertainty with environmental statistics such as probability or cost functions. Reward maximization under response deadlines constitutes one of the most stringent examples of these problems. The current study investigated whether and how mice can optimize their timing beh...
Chapter
This chapter explores behavioral, neural, and theoretical discussions about economic decision-making. It focuses on the reinforcement learning theory in the brain's valuation circuit. It discusses the simple normative strategies that rodents can use to maximize reward. The chapter also focuses on using statistical decision theory to identify normat...
Chapter
Cognitive neurogenetics is a genetics approach to the cellular and molecular neurobiology of cognitive mechanisms. It is predicated on the discovery (forward genetics) or production (reverse genetics) of mutant strains with a genetically based abnormality in a basic mechanism of cognition. A major part of the development was the creation of an open...
Article
Full-text available
On the basis of experimental data, long-range time representation has been proposed to follow a highly compressed power function, which has been hypothesized to explain the time inconsistency found in financial discount rate preferences. The aim of this study was to evaluate how well linear and power function models explain empirical data from indi...
Article
Temporal judgments regarding a target interval typically produce a nearly normally distributed reproduction times centered on the target with substantial variance. This phenomenon indicates that the majority of our temporal judgments are deviations from the target times, which are assumed to originate from the underlying timing uncertainty. Althoug...
Article
Forming temporal expectations plays an instrumental role for the optimization of behavior and allocation of attentional resources. Although the effects of temporal expectations on visual attention are well-established, the question of whether temporal predictions modulate the behavioral outputs of the autonomic nervous system such as the pupillary...
Article
Full-text available
Endogenous timing uncertainty results in variability in time-based judgments. In many timing tasks, animals need to incorporate their level of endogenous timing uncertainty into their decisions in order to maximize the reward rate. Although animals have been shown to adopt such optimal behavioral strategies in time-based decisions, whether they can...
Article
Background: Decision-making in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has typically been investigated in the adult population. Computational approaches have recently started to get integrated into these studies. However, decision-making research in pediatric OCD populations is scarce. Methods: We investigated latent decision processes in 21 medication-fr...
Article
Full-text available
Stimulus properties are known to affect duration judgments. In this study, we tested the effect of motion coherence levels in randomly moving dots on the perceived duration of these stimuli. In Experiments 1 and 2 we tested participants on a temporal reproduction task, using stimuli with varying degrees of motion coherence as the to-be-timed stimul...
Article
There is growing evidence that alterations in reward rates modify timing behavior demonstrating the role of motivational factors in interval timing behavior. This study aimed to investigate the effects of manipulations of rewards and penalties on temporal bisection performance in humans. Participants were trained to classify experienced time interv...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies showed that both human and non-human animals can discriminate between different quantities (i.e., time intervals, numerosities) with a limited level of precision due to their endogenous/representational uncertainty. In addition, other studies have shown that subjects can modulate their temporal categorization responses adaptively b...
Conference Paper
The Head Mounted Projection Display (HMPD) is a growing interest area in HCI. Although various aspects of HMPDs have been investigated, there is not enough information regarding the effect of HMPDs (i.e., head referenced static and dynamic displays while a user is in motion and standing) on visual attentional performance. For this purpose, we condu...