★ Temporal dysfunction in TBI patients mainly due to cognitive impairment. ★ Intact internal clock in TBI patients. ★ Different performance for duration above and below 1 s.
In this study, we investigated time perception in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Fifteen TBI patients and 15 matched healthy controls participated in the study. Participants were tested with durations above and below 1 s on three different temporal tasks that involved time reproduction, production, and discrimination tasks. Data variables analyzed included amount of errors, relative errors, and coefficient of variation. Both groups completed a neuropsychological battery that included measures of attention, working memory, and executive functions. Results revealed significant differences between groups on the time reproduction and discrimination tasks, whereas groups showed similar performance on the time production task. Correlation analyses showed involvement of attention, working memory and executive functions on the time reproduction and time discrimination tasks, but there was no involvement on the time production task. These findings suggest that TBI does not impact specific temporal function. Rather, impairments in attention, working memory and executive function abilities may explain lower temporal performance in people with TBI.