The ability to time underlies adaptive behavior. Skilled motor sequences are carefully timed. Decisions about whether or not to take an action depend on knowledge of when they are appropriate. Memories for how long actions usually take underlies most ordinary activity such as planning a day or knowing how long it takes to cross a street. This learning of time is largely automatic is a foundation of behavioral organization. Disordered timing and distorted anticipation are associated with a number of psychiatric disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia and depression. The purpose of this grant is to understand how times are learned, remembered and used to guide behavior.

Public Health Relevance

There are deficits in timing and anticipation in many behavior disorders. Depression, schizophrenia and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder are all associated with distortions in time perception and changes in the capacity to anticipate predictable events. Drug-taking and other habitual high-risk behaviors are associated with diminished capacity to anticipate long-term consequences. An understanding of the mechanisms of anticipatory learning will lead to more widespread and effective behavioral and biological treatments.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section (BRLE)
Program Officer
Rossi, Andrew
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Barnard College
Schools of Arts and Sciences
New York
United States
Zip Code
Nautiyal, Katherine M; Wall, Melanie M; Wang, Shuai et al. (2017) Genetic and Modeling Approaches Reveal Distinct Components of Impulsive Behavior. Neuropsychopharmacology 42:1182-1191
Drew, Michael R; Walsh, Carolyn; Balsam, Peter D (2017) Rescaling of temporal expectations during extinction. J Exp Psychol Anim Learn Cogn 43:1-14
Simpson, Eleanor H; Balsam, Peter D (2016) The Behavioral Neuroscience of Motivation: An Overview of Concepts, Measures, and Translational Applications. Curr Top Behav Neurosci 27:1-12
Bailey, Matthew R; Simpson, Eleanor H; Balsam, Peter D (2016) Neural substrates underlying effort, time, and risk-based decision making in motivated behavior. Neurobiol Learn Mem 133:233-256
Tarullo, Amanda R; Isler, Joseph R; Condon, Carmen et al. (2016) Neonatal eyelid conditioning during sleep. Dev Psychobiol 58:875-882
Carvalho Poyraz, Fernanda; Holzner, Eva; Bailey, Matthew R et al. (2016) Decreasing Striatopallidal Pathway Function Enhances Motivation by Energizing the Initiation of Goal-Directed Action. J Neurosci 36:5988-6001
Crossley, Matthew J; Horvitz, Jon C; Balsam, Peter D et al. (2016) Expanding the role of striatal cholinergic interneurons and the midbrain dopamine system in appetitive instrumental conditioning. J Neurophysiol 115:240-54
Bailey, Matthew R; Williamson, Cait; Mezias, Chris et al. (2016) The effects of pharmacological modulation of the serotonin 2C receptor on goal-directed behavior in mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 233:615-24
Kirkpatrick, Kimberly; Balsam, Peter D (2016) Associative learning and timing. Curr Opin Behav Sci 8:181-185
Avlar, Billur; Kahn, Julia B; Jensen, Greg et al. (2015) Improving temporal cognition by enhancing motivation. Behav Neurosci 129:576-88

Showing the most recent 10 out of 50 publications