Time is a fundamental dimension, but millisecond-level judgments sometimes lead to perceptual illusions. We previously introduced a "time-shrinking illusion" using a psychological paradigm that induces auditory temporal assimilation (ATA). In ATA, the duration of two successive intervals (T1 and T2), marked by three auditory stimuli, can be perceived as equal when they are not. Here, we investigate the spatiotemporal profile of human temporal judgments using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Behavioural results showed typical ATA: participants judged T1 and T2 as equal when T2-T1 ≤ +80 ms. MEG source-localisation analysis demonstrated that regional activity differences between judgment and no-judgment conditions emerged in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) during T2. This observation in the TPJ may indicate its involvement in the encoding process when T1-T2. Activation in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) was enhanced irrespective of the stimulus patterns when participants engaged in temporal judgment. Furthermore, just after the final marker, activity in the IFG was enhanced specifically for the time-shrinking pattern. This indicates that activity in the IFG is also related to the illusory perception of time-interval equality. Based on these observations, we propose neural signatures for judgments of temporal equality in the human brain.
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