Friday, June 01, 2007

Mental timing research buzz--4 Acta Psychologica articles

The journal Acta Psychologica recently published (or has "in press") a number of articles dealing with different aspects of mental/interval timing. Check out the following. The next revision of the IQ Brain Clock EWOK will includes these articles.

Warning....these are not lite reading.

Fortin et al (in press). Temporal order in memory and interval timing: An interference analysis (click here).
  • Topics covered include (but are not limited to) the interference effect in time perception, the attention allocation model (which accounts for numerous research findings in time estimation research),as well as good summaries of the brain structures/locations involved in different aspects of the mental time-keeper model (e.g., the accumulator of the pacemaker accumulator model residing in the striatal structures). I found the introduction a good overview of some established findings in the mental time-keeping research. The primary empirical results of this study suggest that timing is especially dependent on resources also used in processing temporal order in memory.
Vatakis and Spence (in press). Evaluating the influence of the ‘unity assumption’ on the temporal perception of realistic audiovisual stimuli (click here)

  • The primary focus of this investigation is on the "unity assumption" which the authors describe as the following -- "whenever two or more sensory inputs are highly consistent (in one or more dimension(s); such as time, space, temporal patterning, number, and semantic content), observers will be more likely to treat them as referring to the same underlying multisensory event rather than as referring to separate unimodal events. Consequently, observers will be more likely to assume that the sensory inputs have a common spatiotemporal origin, and hence will be more likely to bind them into a single unified percept."
Droit-Volet and Rattat (2007). A further analysis of time bisection behavior in children with and without reference memory: The similarity and the partition task (click here)
  • If you have checked out the IQ Brain Clock EWOK, you will recognize the first author of this article....Droit-Volet, who has published consistently in this area of study. These investigators use the classic time bisection task. The bottom line conclusion--"the present study provides us with an insight into how children perform a temporal bisection task when compared with adults. It shows that, unlike in adults, the provision of referent durations improves children’s bisection performance by helping them to establish criterion duration. Indeed, our data suggest that children exhibit a variability both in the establishment of a criterion duration and in the encoding of time."
Ulbrich et al. (2007). Temporal reproduction: Further evidence for two processes (click here)
  • In the mental time-keeping research it is often suggested that different mechanisms processing temporal intervals above and below 2-3 seconds (although the research results have been mixed). The results support the notion of two different processes. The authors concluded "our results are in accordance with the conceptual idea of Fraisse (1984) that differentiates between perception of duration (intervals up to 3s) and estimation of duration (intervals onger than 3 s). He suggests that shorter durations might be “perceived” as a unit.

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