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

R Sadibolova, Luna Monaldi, Devin B. Terhune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022

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