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The time course of temporal discrimination: An ERP study

  • Autori: Tarantino, V.; Ehlis, A.; Baehne, C.; Boreatti-Huemmer, A.; Jacob, C.; Bisiacchi, P.; Fallgatter, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2010
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Objective: The question of how temporal information is processed by the brain is still a matter of debate. This study aimed to elucidate the brain electrical activity associated with a visual temporal discrimination task. Methods: For this purpose, 44 participants were required to compare pairs of sequentially presented time intervals: a fixed standard interval (1000 ms), and an equal-to-standard, longer (1200 ms) or shorter (800 ms) comparison interval. Behavioural data and event-related potentials (ERPs) were analyzed. Results: Long intervals were more rapidly identified than short intervals. The amplitude of the contingent negative variation (CNV) found at frontocentral sites before the end of the comparison interval was significantly affected by the difference between its duration and the standard one. The amplitude and the scalp distribution of ERPs registered after the offset of the comparison interval were linearly modulated by its absolute duration. Conclusions: ERP components associated with the offset of the comparison intervals clarified the involvement of working memory processes and different brain structures in temporal discrimination. Significance: This study further improves our understanding of the cognitive processes and neural substrates underlying temporal discrimination in healthy subjects and lays the ground for the investigation of clinical samples with time processing deficits. © 2009 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology.