The dopaminergic system dynamic in the time perception: a review of the evidence

Int J Neurosci. 2018 Mar;128(3):262-282. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2017.1385614. Epub 2017 Oct 11.


Dopaminergic system plays a key role in perception, which is an important executive function of the brain. Modulation in dopaminergic system forms an important biochemical underpinning of neural mechanisms of time perception in a very wide range, from milliseconds to seconds to longer daily rhythms. Distinct types of temporal experience are poorly understood, and the relationship between processing of different intervals by the brain has received little attention. A comprehensive understanding of interval timing functions should be sought within a wider context of temporal processing, involving genetic aspects, pharmacological models, cognitive aspects, motor control and the neurological diseases with impaired dopaminergic system. Particularly, an unexplored question is whether the role of dopamine in interval timing can be integrated with the role of dopamine in non-interval timing temporal components. In this review, we explore a wider perspective of dopaminergic system, involving genetic polymorphisms, pharmacological models, executive functions and neurological diseases on the time perception. We conclude that the dopaminergic system has great participation in impact on time perception and neurobiological basis of the executive functions and neurological diseases.

Keywords: Dopamine; executive functions; genetic; neurological diseases; time perception.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Dopamine / genetics
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*


  • Dopamine