Time perception in children with ADHD: The effects of task modality and duration

Carol Plummer, Neil Humphrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the current study was to examine the performance of children with and without ADHD in time reproduction tasks involving varying durations and modalities. Twenty children with ADHD and 20 healthy controls completed time reproduction tasks in three modalities (auditory, visual, and a unique combined auditory/visual condition) and six durations (1 second, 4 seconds, 12 seconds, 24 seconds, 48 seconds, and 60 seconds). Consistent with our predictions, we found main effects of group (participants with ADHD were significantly less accurate than those without ADHD), duration (accuracy decreased as temporal duration increased), and modality (responses in the combined condition were more accurate than those in the auditory condition, which in turn were more accurate than those in the visual condition). Furthermore, predicted interactions between group and duration (the discrepancy in performance between the two groups grew as temporal duration increased), and group and modality (the modality effect was of greater for participants with ADHD) were supported. A marginal, nonsignificant interaction between group, modality, and duration was also found. These findings are discussed in relation to current theory on the nature of cognitive deficits evident in individuals with ADHD, and methodological limitations are noted. © 2008 Psychology Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-162
Number of pages15
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • ADHD
  • Duration
  • Modality
  • Time perception
  • Time reproduction tasks


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