Temporal Processing Versus Temporal
Another important distinction and source of
confusion is the difference between temporal coding and temporal
processing (Figure 2). We refer to temporal processing as
the decoding of temporal information or
the generation of timed motor responses.
In its simplest form, temporal processing may consist of neurons
that respond selectively to the interval between two events. By
definition, to process temporal information, one must start with
spike patterns in which information is encoded in the
temporal domain. In the sensory domain we focus on cases in which
the temporally encoded information arises directly from external
stimuli (e.g., duration discrimination, Morse code, rhythm
perception, etc.). In addition to these external temporal codes,
theoretical and experimental data suggest that temporal codes may
also be internally generated.