Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 639–654

Time Perception: Modality and Duration Effects in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


DOI: 10.1007/s10802-005-6743-6

Cite this article as:
Toplak, M.E. & Tannock, R. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2005) 33: 639. doi:10.1007/s10802-005-6743-6


Time perception performance was systematically investigated in adolescents with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Specifically, the effects of manipulating modality (auditory and visual) and length of duration (200 and 1000 ms) were examined. Forty-six adolescents with ADHD and 44 controls were administered four duration discrimination tasks and two control tasks, and a set of standardized measures. Participants with ADHD had higher thresholds than controls on all of the duration discrimination tasks, with the largest effect size obtained on the visual 1000 ms duration discrimination task. No group differences were observed on the control tasks. Visual–spatial memory was found to be a significant predictor of visual and auditory duration discrimination at longer intervals (1000 ms) in the ADHD sample, whereas auditory verbal working memory predicted auditory discrimination at longer intervals (1000 ms) in the control sample. These group differences suggest impairments in basic timing mechanisms in ADHD.

Key Words

time perception duration discrimination working memory modality attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brain and Behaviour Research ProgramResearch Institute of The Hospital for Sick ChildrenOntarioCanada
  2. 2.Brain & Behaviour Research ProgramThe Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada

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