Functional Anatomy of the Attentional Modulation of Time Estimation

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Science  05 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5663, pp. 1506-1508
DOI: 10.1126/science.1091573

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Attention modulates our subjective perception of time. The less we attend to an event's duration, the shorter it seems to last. Attention to time or color stimulus attributes was modulated parametrically in an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Linear increases in task performance were accompanied by corresponding increases in brain activity. Increasing attention to time selectively increased activity in a corticostriatal network, including pre–supplementary motor area and right frontal operculum. Increasing attention to color selectively increased activity in area V4. By identifying areas whose activity was specifically modulated by attention to time, we have defined the core neuroanatomical substrates of timing behavior.

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