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Distortions of Subjective Time Perception Within and Across Senses

van Wassenhove, Virginie and Buonomano, Dan V. and Shimojo, Shinsuke and Shams, Ladan (2008) Distortions of Subjective Time Perception Within and Across Senses. PLoS ONE, 3 (1). e1437. ISSN 1932-6203. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:WASplosone08

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Abstract

Background: The ability to estimate the passage of time is of fundamental importance for perceptual and cognitive processes. One experience of time is the perception of duration, which is not isomorphic to physical duration and can be distorted by a number of factors. Yet, the critical features generating these perceptual shifts in subjective duration are not understood. Methodology/Findings: We used prospective duration judgments within and across sensory modalities to examine the effect of stimulus predictability and feature change on the perception of duration. First, we found robust distortions of perceived duration in auditory, visual and auditory-visual presentations despite the predictability of the feature changes in the stimuli. For example, a looming disc embedded in a series of steady discs led to time dilation, whereas a steady disc embedded in a series of looming discs led to time compression. Second, we addressed whether visual (auditory) inputs could alter the perception of duration of auditory (visual) inputs. When participants were presented with incongruent audio-visual stimuli, the perceived duration of auditory events could be shortened or lengthened by the presence of conflicting visual information; however, the perceived duration of visual events was seldom distorted by the presence of auditory information and was never perceived shorter than their actual durations. Conclusions/Significance: These results support the existence of multisensory interactions in the perception of duration and, importantly, suggest that vision can modify auditory temporal perception in a pure timing task. Insofar as distortions in subjective duration can neither be accounted for by the unpredictability of an auditory, visual or auditory-visual event, we propose that it is the intrinsic features of the stimulus that critically affect subjective time distortions.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Copyright: © 2008 van Wassenhove et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: October 3, 2007; Accepted: December 14, 2007; Published: January 16, 2008. Academic Editor: David Eagleman, Baylor College of Medicine, United States of America. We would like to thank David Eagleman and Peter Tse for earlier discussion of the data, Ulrik Beierholm for his advice on Bayesian modeling, and Marc Wittmann and Bud Craig for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. We are also grateful for the very insightful and constructive comments received by two anonymous reviewers. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: Vv LS SS DB. Performed the experiments: Vv. Analyzed the data: Vv. Wrote the paper: Vv LS SS DB. Funding: HFSP grant (RGP70/2003) to LS and SS. JST.ERATO Shimojo Implicit Brain Function Project to VvW. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:WASplosone08
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:WASplosone08
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001437
Official Citation:van Wassenhove V, Buonomano DV, Shimojo S, Shams L (2008) Distortions of Subjective Time Perception Within and Across Senses. PLoS ONE 3(1): e1437 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001437
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9945
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:28 Mar 2008
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 09:54

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