A proxy measure of striatal dopamine predicts individual differences in temporal precision

Sadibolova, Renata; Monaldi, Luna and Terhune, Devin Blair. 2022. A proxy measure of striatal dopamine predicts individual differences in temporal precision. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 29(4), pp. 1307-1316. ISSN 1069-9384 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The perception of time is characterized by pronounced variability across individuals, with implications for a diverse array of psychological functions. The neurocognitive sources of this variability are poorly understood, but accumulating evidence suggests a role for inter-individual differences in striatal dopamine levels. Here we present a pre-registered study that tested the predictions that spontaneous eyeblink rates, which provide a proxy measure of striatal dopamine availability, would be associated with aberrant interval timing (lower temporal precision or overestimation bias). Neurotypical adults (N = 69) underwent resting state eye tracking and completed visual psychophysical interval timing and control tasks. Elevated spontaneous eyeblink rates were associated with poorer temporal precision but not with inter-individual differences in perceived duration or performance on the control task. These results signify a role for striatal dopamine in variability in human time perception and can help explain deficient temporal precision in psychiatric populations characterized by elevated dopamine levels.

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This research was supported in part by grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, grant number:

Open practices statement:
The data and materials are available at https://osf.io/jxc3f. The study was preregistered (https://osf.io/fzdbv).


Dopamine, Eye-tracking, Temporal cognition, Time perception, Schizophrenia

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2 March 2022Accepted
22 March 2022Published Online
August 2022Published


Funding bodyFunder IDGrant Number
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research CouncilUNSPECIFIEDBB/R01583X/1

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Date Deposited:

23 Mar 2022 09:26

Last Modified:

15 Sep 2022 09:16

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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