Time Estimation by Patients with Frontal Lesions

  • Mariel Gallego


I propose investigating time estimation in patients with frontal lobe damage, and replicating the paradigms used in a study done by Mimura et al. (2000), to further research the effects of frontal lobe damage in time estimation. Previous studies indicate that time estimation is dependent on an internal or biological clock that is mediated by frontal brain regions (Church, 1984; Meck, 1983; Meck et al., 1984). Some researchers believe that flawed estimates of time are due to a damaged or unstable internal clock, or to lack of impulse control and the tendency to terminate actions prematurely. Other studies show frontal lesions to interfere with working memory (Mimura et al. 2000; Baddeley 1986; Shimamura, 1995).


Baddeley, A.D. (1986). Working Memory. Oxford. UK: Clarendon Press. Church, R.M. (1984). Properties of the internal clock. In: J. Gibbon & L. Allan (Eds.), Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 423: Timing and Time Perception (pp.566-582). New York: New York Academy of Sciences.

Kinsbourne, M. (2000). The role of memory in estimating time: A neuropsychological analysis. In L.T. Connor & L.K. Obler (Eds.) Neurobehavior of Language and Cognition: Studies of Normal Aging and Brain Damage. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Meck, W.H. (1983). Selective adjustment of the internal clock and memory processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 9, 171-201.

Meck,W.H., Church, R.M., & Olton, D.S. et al., (1984). Hippocampus, time, and memory. Behavioural Neuroscience, 98, 3-22.

Mimamura, M., Kinsbourne, M., & O'Connor, M. (2000). Time estimation by patients with frontal lesionsfrontnal lobe lesions and by Korsakoff amnesics. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 6, 517-528..

Shimamura, A.P. ( 1995). Memory and frontal lobe functioning. In M.S. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences (pp. 803-813). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.