Left insular cortex and left SFG underlie prismatic adaptation effects on time perception: Evidence from fMRI

Barbara Magnani, Francesca Frassinetti, Thomas Ditye, Massimiliano Oliveri, Marcello Costantini, Vincent Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prismatic adaptation (PA) has been shown to affect left-to-right spatial representations of temporal durations. A leftward aftereffect usually distorts time representation toward an underestimation, while rightward aftereffect usually results in an overestimation of temporal durations. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the neural mechanisms that underlie PA effects on time perception. Additionally, we investigated whether the effect of PA on time is transient or stable and, in the case of stability, which cortical areas are responsible of its maintenance.Functional brain images were acquired while participants (n. = 17) performed a time reproduction task and a control-task before, immediately after and 30. min after PA inducing a leftward aftereffect, administered outside the scanner.The leftward aftereffect induced an underestimation of time intervals that lasted for at least 30. min. The left anterior insula and the left superior frontal gyrus showed increased functional activation immediately after versus before PA in the time versus the control-task, suggesting these brain areas to be involved in the executive spatial manipulation of the representation of time. The left middle frontal gyrus showed an increase of activation after 30. min with respect to before PA. This suggests that this brain region may play a key role in the maintenance of the PA effect over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2014


  • Left frontal lobe
  • Prismatic adaptation
  • Spatial representation of time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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