Implicit timing activates the left inferior parietal cortex

Neuropsychologia. 2010 Nov;48(13):3967-71. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.09.014. Epub 2010 Sep 21.


Coull and Nobre (2008) suggested that tasks that employ temporal cues might be divided on the basis of whether these cues are explicitly or implicitly processed. Furthermore, they suggested that implicit timing preferentially engages the left cerebral hemisphere. We tested this hypothesis by conducting a quantitative meta-analysis of eleven neuroimaging studies of implicit timing using the activation-likelihood estimation (ALE) algorithm (Turkeltaub, Eden, Jones, & Zeffiro, 2002). Our analysis revealed a single but robust cluster of activation-likelihood in the left inferior parietal cortex (supramarginal gyrus). This result is in accord with the hypothesis that the left hemisphere subserves implicit timing mechanisms. Furthermore, in conjunction with a previously reported meta-analysis of explicit timing tasks, our data support the claim that implicit and explicit timing are supported by at least partially distinct neural structures.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*