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Brain keeps its own internal clock, says a new study


A new study using monkeys found that the brain keeps its own internal timing function.


Paula Bronstein

The brain has its own internal clock a new study has suggested.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that the brain can keep its own time using each individual brain circuit.

"People think when you need to time something, that there's some clock circuit in the brain that we look to," study co-author Geoffrey Ghose, a University of Minnesota neuroscientist, told LiveScience.

"What our study indicates is it's actually very different. For every little task or every little action or decision you make, you could potentially develop timing representations."

The study used two monkeys and trained them to look back and forth at specific times.

All external timing clues were removed.

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The monkeys had implants in their brains to measure electrical signals from cells into the parietal cortex, said the Indian Express.

Electrical activity was at first very high, yet began to decrease as the monkeys learned to calculate the time for the next movement in their heads.

The monkeys remained remarkably precise in timing their movements despite a lack of external clues, said LiveScience.

Researchers said that the consistency in the timing was caused by the lateral intra-parietal area (LIP) in the brain, reported Healthline.

The findings were published in the journal PLoS One.