Prisms to travel in time: Investigation of time-space association through prismatic adaptation effect on mental time travel

Filomena Anelli, Elisa Ciaramelli, Shahar Arzy, Francesca Frassinetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that humans process time and space in similar veins. Humans represent time along a spatial continuum, and perception of temporal durations can be altered through manipulations of spatial attention by prismatic adaptation (PA). Here, we investigated whether PA-induced manipulations of spatial attention can also influence more conceptual aspects of time, such as humans’ ability to travel mentally back and forward in time (mental time travel, MTT). Before and after leftward- and rightward-PA, participants projected themselves in the past, present or future time (i.e., self-projection), and, for each condition, determined whether a series of events were located in the past or the future with respect to that specific self-location in time (i.e., self-reference). The results demonstrated that leftward and rightward shifts of spatial attention facilitated recognition of past and future events, respectively. These findings suggest that spatial attention affects the temporal processing of the human self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalCognition
Volume156
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • Mental time travel
  • Prismatic adaptation
  • Self-projection
  • Self-reference
  • Spatial attention
  • Time representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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