Brain Topography

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 104–112 | Cite as

Facial Emotion Modulates the Neural Mechanisms Responsible for Short Interval Time Perception

Original Paper

Abstract

Emotionally arousing events can distort our sense of time. We used mixed block/event-related fMRI design to establish the neural basis for this effect. Nineteen participants were asked to judge whether angry, happy and neutral facial expressions that varied in duration (from 400 to 1,600 ms) were closer in duration to either a short or long duration they learnt previously. Time was overestimated for both angry and happy expressions compared to neutral expressions. For faces presented for 700 ms, facial emotion modulated activity in regions of the timing network Wiener et al. (NeuroImage 49(2):1728–1740, 2010) namely the right supplementary motor area (SMA) and the junction of the right inferior frontal gyrus and anterior insula (IFG/AI). Reaction times were slowest when faces were displayed for 700 ms indicating increased decision making difficulty. Taken together with existing electrophysiological evidence Ng et al. (Neuroscience, doi:  10.3389/fnint.2011.00077, 2011), the effects are consistent with the idea that facial emotion moderates temporal decision making and that the right SMA and right IFG/AI are key neural structures responsible for this effect.

Keywords

Time perception Neural clock Emotion 

References

  1. Angrilli A, Cherubini P, Pavese A, Manfredini S (1997) The influence of affective factors on time perception. Percept Psychophys 59(6):972–982. doi: 10.3758/BF03205512 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arstila V (2012) Time slows down during accidents. Front Theor Philos Psychol 3:196. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00196 Google Scholar
  3. Bar-Haim Y, Kerem A, Lamy D, Zakay D (2010) When time slows down: the influence of threat on time perception in anxiety. Cognit Emot 24(2):255–263. doi: 10.1080/02699930903387603 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buhusi CV, Meck WH (2002) Differential effects of methamphetamine and haloperidol on the control of an internal clock. Behav Neurosci 116(2):291–297PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Calder AJ, Ewbank M, Passamonti L (2011) Personality influences the neural responses to viewing facial expressions of emotion. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci 366(1571):1684–1701. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0362 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coull JT, Cheng R-K, Meck WH (2011) Neuroanatomical and neurochemical substrates of timing. Neuropsychopharmacology 36(1):3–25. doi: 10.1038/npp.2010.113 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Craig AD (2008) Interoception and emotion: a neuroanatomical perspective. In: Lewis M, Haviland-Jones JM, Barrett LF (eds) Handbook of emotions, 3rd edn. Guilford Press, New York, pp 272–292Google Scholar
  8. Craig AD (2009) Emotional moments across time: a possible neural basis for time perception in the anterior insula. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci 364(1525):1933–1942. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0008 Google Scholar
  9. Dirnberger G, Hesselmann G, Roiser JP, Preminger S, Jahanshahi M, Paz R (2012) Give it time: neural evidence for distorted time perception and enhanced memory encoding in emotional situations. NeuroImage 63(1):591–599. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.041 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Droit-Volet S, Brunot S, Niedenthal PM (2004) Perception of the duration of emotional events. Cogn Emot 18(6):849–858. doi: 10.1080/02699930341000194 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Droit-Volet S, Mermillod M, Cocenas-Silva R, Gil S (2010) The effect of expectancy of a threatening event on time perception in human adults. Emotion 10(6):908–914. doi: 10.1037/a0020258 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Forstmann BU, Dutilh G, Brown S, Neumann J, von Cramon DY, Ridderinkhof KR, Wagenmakers E-J (2008) Striatum and pre-SMA facilitate decision-making under time pressure. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105(45):17538–17542. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0805903105 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gescheider GA (1997) Psychophysics: the fundamentals, vol X, 3rd edn. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, MahwahGoogle Scholar
  14. Gibbon J, Church RM, Meck WH (1984) Scalar timing in memory. Ann NY Acad Sci 423(1):52–77PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grommet EK, Droit-Volet S, Gil S, Hemmes NS, Baker AH, Brown BL (2011) Time estimation of fear cues in human observers. Behav Process 86(1):88–93. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2010.10.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hagura N, Kanai R, Orgs G, Haggard P (2012) Ready steady slow: action preparation slows the subjective passage of time. Proc Biol Sci R Soc 279(1746):4399–4406. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1339 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hartstra E, Waszak F, Brass M (2012) The implementation of verbal instructions: dissociating motor preparation from the formation of stimulus–response associations. NeuroImage 63(3):1143–1153. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.08.003 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ivry RB, Schlerf JE (2008) Dedicated and intrinsic models of time perception. Trend Cogn Sci 12(7):273–280. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2008.04.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kopec CD, Brody CD (2010) Human performance on the temporal bisection task. Brain Cogn 74(3):262–272. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2010.08.006 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lindbergh CA, Kieffaber PD (2013) The neural correlates of temporal judgments in the duration bisection task. Neuropsychologia 51(2):191–196. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.09.001 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Livesey AC, Wall MB, Smith AT (2007) Time perception: manipulation of task difficulty dissociates clock functions from other cognitive demands. Neuropsychologia 45(2):321–331. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.06.033 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lui MA, Penney TB, Schirmer A (2011) Emotion effects on timing: attention versus pacemaker accounts. PLoS One 6(7):e21829. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021829 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Maldjian JA, Laurienti PJ, Kraft RA, Burdette JH (2003) An automated method for neuroanatomic and cytoarchitectonic atlas-based interrogation of fMRI data sets. NeuroImage 19(3):1233–1239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nagai Y, Critchley HD, Featherstone E, Fenwick PBC, Trimble MR, Dolan RJ (2004) Brain activity relating to the contingent negative variation: an fMRI investigation. NeuroImage 21(4):1232–1241. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.10.036 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ng KK, Tobin S, Penney TB (2011) Temporal accumulation and decision processes in the duration bisection task revealed by contingent negative variation. Front Integr Neurosci 5. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2011.00077
  26. Noulhiane M, Mella N, Samson S, Ragot R, Pouthas V (2007) How emotional auditory stimuli modulate time perception. Emotion 7(4):697–704. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.7.4.697 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ortega L, López F (2008) Effects of visual flicker on subjective time in a temporal bisection task. Behav Process 78(3):380–386. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2008.02.004 Google Scholar
  28. Schneider W, Eschman A, Zuccolotto A (2002) E-prime (version 1.1). Psychology Software Tools, PittsburghGoogle Scholar
  29. Thayer S, Schiff W (1975) Eye-contact, facial expression and the experience of time. J Soc Psychol 95(1):117–124PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tipples J (2008) Negative emotionality influences the effects of emotion on time perception. Emotion (Washington, DC) 8(1):127–131. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.8.1.127 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tipples J, Brattan V, Johnston P (2013) Neural bases for individual differences in the subjective experience of short durations (less than 2 s). PLoS One 8(1):e54669. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054669 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tottenham N, Tanaka JW, Leon AC, McCarry T, Nurse M, Hare TA, Nelson C (2009) The NimStim set of facial expressions: judgments from untrained research participants. Psychiatry Res 168(3):242–249. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2008.05.006 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Treisman M (1963) Temporal discrimination and the indifference interval: implications for a model of the“internal clock”. Psychol Monogr 77(13):1PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tzourio-Mazoyer N, Landeau B, Papathanassiou D, Crivello F, Etard O, Delcroix N, Joliot M (2002) Automated anatomical labeling of activations in SPM using a macroscopic anatomical parcellation of the MNI MRI single-subject brain. NeuroImage 15(1):273–289. doi: 10.1006/nimg.2001.0978 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Van Rijn H, Kononowicz TW, Meck WH, Ng KK, Penney TB (2011) Contingent negative variation and its relation to time estimation: a theoretical evaluation. Front Integr Neurosci. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2011.00091 Google Scholar
  36. Van Wassenhove V, Wittmann M, Craig AD, Paulus MP (2011) Psychological and neural mechanisms of subjective time dilation. Front Neurosci 5. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2011.00056
  37. Wearden JH (2008) Slowing down an internal clock: implications for accounts of performance on four timing tasks. Q J Exp Psychol 61(2):263–274. doi: 10.1080/17470210601154610 Google Scholar
  38. Wiener M, Turkeltaub P, Coslett HB (2010) The image of time: a voxel-wise meta-analysis. NeuroImage 49(2):1728–1740. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.09.064 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wittmann M, Simmons AN, Aron JL, Paulus MP (2010) Accumulation of neural activity in the posterior insula encodes the passage of time. Neuropsychologia 48(10):3110–3120. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.06.023 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HullHullUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK

Personalised recommendations