The internal marker hypothesis explains the superior timing performance for empty intervals over filled intervals by assuming that timing an empty interval starts from the offset of the first marker stimulus and stops at the onset of the second marker stimulus. Other models suggest that timing an empty interval is from first marker onset to second marker onset. We used an electrophysiological measure of preattentive change detection, the mismatch negativity (MMN), to examine processing of empty intervals. Participants watched a silent movie while a stream of auditory stimuli demarcating empty intervals was presented in the background. Most intervals were of the same duration (standards), but shorter intervals (deviants) were presented occasionally also. The pattern of MMN amplitudes obtained across five deviant conditions indicated that preattentive timing of empty intervals occurred from marker offset to onset.