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Temporal reproduction and its neuroanatomical correlates in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and their unaffected first-degree relatives

  • V. A. Pironti (a1) (a2) (a3), M.-C. Lai (a4) (a5), S. Morein-Zamir (a1) (a2), U. Müller (a1) (a3), E. T. Bullmore (a1) (a2) and B. J. Sahakian (a1) (a2)...



Little is known about time perception, its putative role as cognitive endophenotype, and its neuroanatomical underpinnings in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Twenty adults with ADHD, 20 unaffected first-degree relatives and 20 typically developing controls matched for age and gender undertook structural magnetic resonance imaging scans. Voxel-based morphometry with DARTEL was performed to obtain regional grey-matter volumes. Temporal processing was investigated as a putative cognitive endophenotype using a temporal reproduction paradigm. General linear modelling was employed to examine the relationship between temporal reproduction performances and grey-matter volumes.


ADHD participants were impaired in temporal reproduction and unaffected first-degree relatives performed in between their ADHD probands and typically developing controls. Increased grey-matter volume in the cerebellum was associated with poorer temporal reproduction performance.


Adults with ADHD are impaired in time reproduction. Performances of the unaffected first-degree relatives are in between ADHD relatives and controls, suggesting that time reproduction might be a cognitive endophenotype for adult ADHD. The cerebellum is involved in time reproduction and might play a role in driving time performances.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr V. A. Pironti, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Herschel Smith Building for Brain and Mind Sciences, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, CB2 0SZ, UK. (Email:


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