Neural substrates of time perception and impulsivity.

TitleNeural substrates of time perception and impulsivity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWittmann M, Simmons AN, Flagan T, Lane SD, Wackermann J, Paulus MP
JournalBrain Res
Date Published2011 Aug 11
KeywordsAdolescent, Brain, Brain Mapping, Female, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Impulsive Behavior, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Oxygen, Personality Inventory, Reaction Time, Self Report, Surveys and Questionnaires, Time Factors, Time Perception, Young Adult

Several studies provide empirical evidence for the association between impulsivity and time perception. However, little is known about the neural substrates underlying this function. This investigation examined the influence of impulsivity on neural activation patterns during the encoding and reproduction of intervals with durations of 3, 9 and 18s using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twenty-seven subjects participated in this study, including 15 high impulsive subjects that were classified based on their self-rating. FMRI activation during the duration reproduction task was correlated with measures of two self-report questionnaires related to the concept of impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, BIS; Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, ZTPI). Behaviorally, those individuals who under-reproduced temporal intervals also showed lower scores on the ZTPI future perspective subscale and higher scores on the BIS. FMRI activation revealed an accumulating pattern of neural activity peaking at the end of the 9- and 18-s intervals within right posterior insula. Activations of brain regions during the reproduction phase of the timing task, such as those related to motor execution as well as to the 'core control network' - encompassing the inferior frontal and medial frontal cortices, the anterior insula as well as the inferior parietal cortex - were significantly correlated with reproduced duration, as well as with BIS and ZTPI subscales. In particular, the greater activation in these regions the shorter were the reproduced intervals, the more impulsive was an individual and the less pronounced the future perspective. Activation in the core control network, thus, may form a biological marker for cognitive time management and for impulsiveness.

Alternate JournalBrain Res.
PubMed ID21763642
PubMed Central IDPMC3145046
Grant List1R03DA020687-01A1 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
R01AA016965 / AA / NIAAA NIH HHS / United States
R01DA015392 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
R01DA016663 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
R01DA018307 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
R03 DA020687 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
R03 DA020687-01A1 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
IRG Funded