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Neuropsychology. 1998 Jan;12(1):3-12.

Temporal processing in the basal ganglia.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108, USA.


This study investigated the role of the basal ganglia in timing operations. Nondemented, medicated Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and controls were tested on 2 motor-timing tasks (paced finger tapping at a 300- or 600-ms target interval), 2 time perception tasks (duration perception wherein the interval between the standard tone pair was 300 or 600 ms), and 2 tasks that controlled for the auditory processing (frequency perception) demands of the time perception task and the movement rate (rapid tapping) in the motor-timing task. Using A.M. Wing and A.B. Kristofferson's (1973) model, the total variability in motor timing was partitioned into a clock component, which reflects central timekeeping operations, and a motor delay component, which estimates random variability due to response implementation processes. The PD group was impaired at both target intervals of the time perception and motor-timing tasks. Impaired motor timing was due to elevated clock but not motor delay variability. The findings implicate the basal ganglia and its thalamocortical connections in timing operations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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