Thursday, March 31, 2011

FYiPost: Good heart beat perception = good temporal processing?

What underlies our sense of time? A popular account claims an internal pacemaker emits regular pulses, which are detected by an accumulator. The amount of accumulated pulses represents the amount of time that's passed.

Trouble is, this is all very theoretical and no-one really knows how or where in the brain these functions are enacted. One suggestion is that the pulses are based on bodily feedback and in particular the heart-beat. Consistent with this is a recent brain imaging study that showed activity in the insular (a brain region associated with representing internal bodily states) rose linearly as people paid attention to time intervals (pdf). Now a behavioural study by Karin Meissner and Marc Wittmann has built on these findings by showing that people who are more sensitive to their own heart-beat are also better at judging time intervals.

<snip> .... go to link below for complete post.


ResearchBlogging.orgMeissner, K., and Wittmann, M. (2011). Body signals, cardiac awareness, and the perception of time. Biological Psychology, 86 (3), 289-297 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.01.001

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Kevin McGrew, PhD
Educational Psychologist

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