There are numerous studies suggesting the
basal ganglia is involved in timing; however, most of the
data focus on the timescale of seconds rather than in the range
of tens to hundreds of ms. Much of these data relies on
pharmacology studies. Specifically, drugs that act on the
dopaminergic system interfere with timing. Because the basal
ganglia is important in the dopaminergic system, the basal
ganglia is likely involved in temporal processing (for a
review, see Meck 1996). Studies of Parkinson patients, who
in some cases have shown specific deficits in temporal tasks,
support this claim (Artieda et al. 1992, Harrington et al.1998a,
Riesen & Schnider 2003).
Thus the basal ganglia likely plays a role in
timing of sensory and motor events on the timescale of seconds.
However, to date, there are few data that suggests involvement of
the basal ganglia in temporal processing in the range of tens to
hundreds of ms.
Traditionally, because interval timing depends
on the intact striatum but not on the intact cerebellum, the
cerebellum has been charged with millisecond timing and the
basal ganglia with interval timing. Despite this simplistic
dissociation, two recent findings have shed new light on the
involvement of the basal ganglia and cerebellum in motor
control and interval timing.
More recently the notion of a central role for
the cerebellum has been questioned (Harrington, Lee, Boyd, Rapcsak,
& Knight, 2004), although this view still has its adherents
(Ivry & Spencer, 2004). The advent of brain imaging has caused
a shift emphasis away from the cerebellum towards fronto- striatal