UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Temporal Processing

Cognitive-Motor Neuroscience Group


Lab Head: Professor Marjan Jahanshahi

Timing is an integral part of perception and movement. With imaging, we have found that a midbrain area in the region of the substantia nigra pars compacta is activated during time estimation which may contribute to the perceptual and motor timing deficits observed in Parkinson’s disease. Using TMS, we have shown that the right dorsolateral prefrontal makes an essential contribution to the reproduction of longer time intervals. In another imaging study we have demonstrated that during motor timing, patients with Parkinson’s disease fail to activate fronto-striatal circuits and instead rely on the cerebellum and that dopamine replacement improves fronto-striatal connectivity during motor timing in Parkinson’s disease.

Examples of relevant publications

Jones CRG, Rosenkranz K, Rothwell JC, Jahanshahi M (2004) The right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is essential in time reproduction: an investigation with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Exp Brain Res. 158(3):366-372.

Jahanshahi M, Jones CRG, Dirnberger G, Frith CD The substantia nigra pars compacta and temporal processing. J Neuroscience, 2006, 26:12266-12273.

Jones C Malone T Dirnberger G Edwards M Jahanshahi M (2008) Basal ganglia, dopamine and temporal processing: Performance on three timing tasks on and off medication in Parkinson's disease. Brain & Cognition, 68(1):30-41

Rodriguez-Oroz MC, Jahanshahi M, Krack P, Litvan I, Macias R, Bezard E, Obeso JA. Initial clinical manifestations of Parkinson's disease: features and pathophysiological mechanisms. Lancet Neurol. 2009 Dec;8(12):1128-39.

Jahanshahi M, Jones CRG, Zijlmans J, Katzenschlager R, Lee L, Quinn N, Frith CD, Lees A Dopaminergic modulation of striato-frontal connectivity during motor timing in Parkinson’s disease. Brain, 2010, 133, 727-745.

Jahanshahi et al (2006) J Neuroscience, 26:12266-12273.


 Jahanshahi et al (2010)  Brain, 133, 727-45