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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

October 2007, Vol. 19, No. 10, Pages 1706-1720
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.2007.19.10.1706)
© 2007 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Neglected Time: Impaired Temporal Perception of Multisecond Intervals in Unilateral Neglect
Article PDF (655.41 KB)

Recent neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies have suggested that the right hemisphere, particularly frontal regions, is important for the perception of the passage of time. We examined the ability to estimate durations of up to 60 sec in a group of eight patients with unilateral neglect. When estimating multisecond intervals, neglect patients grossly underestimated all durations. On average, healthy controls (HC) demonstrated reasonably accurate estimates of all durations tested. Although the right hemisphere lesioned control patients without neglect also tended to underestimate durations, these underestimations were significantly better than the performance of the neglect group. These findings suggest a pivotal role for a right hemisphere fronto-parietal network in the accurate perception of multisecond durations. Furthermore, these findings add to a growing body of literature suggesting that neglect cannot be understood simply in terms of a bias in orienting attention to one side of space. Additional deficits of the kind demonstrated here are likely to be crucial in determining the nature and extent of the loss of conscious awareness for contralesional events.