Timing dysfunctions in schizophrenia span from millisecond to several-second durations

Christine A. Carroll, Brian F. O'Donnell, Anantha Shekhar, William P. Hetrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia may be associated with a fundamental disturbance in the temporal coordination of information processing in the brain, leading to classic symptoms of schizophrenia such as thought disorder and disorganized and contextually inappropriate behavior. However, the majority of studies that have examined timing behavior in schizophrenia have employed temporal durations in the range of several seconds, which requires higher cognitive processes beyond initial sensory registration for temporal encoding. Accordingly, the present study assessed both millisecond and several-second duration estimates in schizophrenia using a well-established task of time perception. Twenty-eight individuals with schizophrenia and 31 non-psychiatric control participants completed two temporal bisection tasks, which required participants to make temporal judgments about auditory durations ranging from either 300 to 600 ms or 3000 to 6000 ms. Participants with schizophrenia displayed significantly greater timing variability under both millisecond and several-second timing conditions than the non-psychiatric group. These findings were consistent with parameter estimates obtained from a quantitative model of time estimation, and provide evidence for a fundamental timing deficit in schizophrenia that may be independent of the length of the to-be-timed duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009


  • Schizophrenia
  • Temporal coordination
  • Temporal processing
  • Timing
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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