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Vincent Monfort

Insula and SMA involvement in time perception : behavioral and stereo-electroencephalographic (SEEG) approachs in epileptic patients

Laboratoire de Conception, Optimisation et Modélisation des Systèmes, Université de Lorraine

The supplementary motor area (SMA) and the anterior insular cortex (AIC) are frequently activated in neuroimaging studies of time perception. Our aim was to investigate - by means of behavioral measurements and intracerebral EEG recordings in patients suffering from drug-refractory epilepsy - the role of these structures in temporal processing. We used a time reproduction task in which participants were presented a standard duration (3, 5 or 7 s) they had to encode and then to reproduce. In this talk, we will first present the case of an epileptic patient with a focal lesion in the right AIC showing a strong distortion of temporal judgment, supporting the view that this structure plays an important role in the perception of time and its subjective variations. Then, we will present the results of SEEG recordings performed in 6 epileptic patients with depth electrodes implanted in the SMA and/or the insula. We showed that the amplitude of the evoked potential in the SMA (as well as in other frontal regions) at the end of the encoding phase decreased proportionally to the magnitude of the standard duration. We will suggest that this activity could reflect the encoding of temporal probabilities.