A right hemispheric prefrontal system for cognitive time measurement

Behav Processes. 2006 Feb 28;71(2-3):226-34. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2005.12.009. Epub 2006 Jan 24.


Despite a growing body of neuroimaging data, little consensus has been reached regarding the neural correlates of temporal processing in humans. This paper presents a reanalysis of two previously published neuroimaging experiments, which used two different cognitive timing tasks and examined both sub- and supra-second intervals. By processing these data in an identical manner, this reanalysis allows valid comparison and contrasting across studies. Conjunction of these studies using inclusive masking reveals shared activity in right hemispheric dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior insula, supporting a general-purpose system for cognitive time measurement in the right hemispheric prefrontal cortex. Consideration of the patterns of activity in each dataset with respect to the others, and taking task characteristics into account, provides insight into the possible role of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in working memory and of posterior parietal cortex and anterior cingulate in attentional processing during cognitive time measurement tasks.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*