Shifts in spatial attention affect the perceived duration of events

Guido Marco Cicchini, Maria Concetta Morrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the relationship between attention and perceived duration of visual events with a double-task paradigm. The primary task was to discriminate the size change of a 2° circle presented 10° left, right, above, or below fixation; the secondary task was to judge the temporal separation (from 133 ms to 633 ms) of two equiluminant horizontal bars (102 deg) × 2 deg) briefly flashed 12° above or below fixation. The stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between primary and secondary task ranged from -1300 ms to +1000 ms. Temporal intervals in proximity of the onset of the primary task stimuli were perceived strongly compressed by up to 40%. The effect was proportional to the size of the interval with a maximum effect at 100 ms SOA. Control experiments show that neither primary-task difficulty, nor the type of primary task discrimination (form or motion, or equiluminant or luminance contrast) nor spatial congruence between primary and secondary task alter the effect. Interestingly, the compression occurred only when the intervals are marked by bars presented in separated spatial locations: when the interval is marked by two bars flashed in the same spatial position no temporal distortion was found. These data indicate that attention can alter perceived duration when the brain has to compare the passage of time at two different spatial positions, corroborating earlier findings that mechanisms of time perception may monitor separately the various spatial locations possibly at high level of analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 13 2009

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Time Perception
Brain
Discrimination (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Double-task paradigm
  • Equiluminance
  • Flicker
  • Spatial attention
  • Stimulus onset asynchrony
  • Time perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

Cite this

Shifts in spatial attention affect the perceived duration of events. / Cicchini, Guido Marco; Morrone, Maria Concetta.

In: Journal of Vision, Vol. 9, No. 1, 9, 13.01.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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