Time Adaptation Shows Duration Selectivity in the Human Parietal Cortex

Masamichi J. Hayashi, Thomas Ditye, Tokiko Harada, Maho Hashiguchi, Norihiro Sadato, Synnove Carlson, Vincent Walsh, Ryota Kanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
139 Downloads (Pure)


Although psychological and computational models of time estimation have postulated the existence of neural representations tuned for specific durations, empirical evidence of this notion has been lacking. Here, using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) adaptation paradigm, we show that the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) (corresponding to the supramarginal gyrus) exhibited reduction in neural activity due to adaptation when a visual stimulus of the same duration was repeatedly presented. Adaptation was strongest when stimuli of identical durations were repeated, and it gradually decreased as the difference between the reference and test durations increased. This tuning property generalized across a broad range of durations, indicating the presence of general time-representation mechanisms in the IPL. Furthermore, adaptation was observed irrespective of the subject’s attention to time. Repetition of a nontemporal aspect of the stimulus (i.e., shape) did not produce neural adaptation in the IPL. These results provide neural evidence for duration-tuned representations in the human brain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1002262
Pages (from-to)1-27
JournalPLoS Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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