Monday, January 17, 2011

Examples of the relativity of our sensing time...

Two recent articles give fascinating glimpses of how plastic our sense of time can be. Jiga-Boy et al. show that our perception of temporal distance to a future event is shaped by the effort we must invest to realize the event. In a series of five experiments they showed:
...that the perception of temporal distance to a future event is shaped by the effort one must invest to realize the event...when actors are faced with realizing an event by a certain deadline, more effortful events are perceived as closer in time, regardless of the objective temporal distance to the deadline. This negative relationship is reversed, however, when deadlines are absent. Finally, priming high effort reduced perceived temporal distance to an event, whereas priming low effort increased perceived temporal distance to the event.
Carrozzo et al. find that animacy speeds up time in the brain:
...observers were asked to intercept a moving target or to discriminate the duration of a stationary flash while viewing different scenes. Time estimates were systematically shorter in the sessions involving human characters moving in the scene than in those involving inanimate moving characters. Remarkably, the animate/inanimate context also affected randomly intermingled trials which always depicted the same still character...The existence of distinct time bases for animate and inanimate events might be related to the partial segregation of the neural networks processing these two categories of objects, and could enhance our ability to predict critically timed actions.

No comments:

Post a Comment