Temporal recalibration: the mechanics of time perception

Gallagher, Regan (2012). Temporal recalibration: the mechanics of time perception Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Gallagher, Regan
Thesis Title Temporal recalibration: the mechanics of time perception
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Derek Arnold
Total pages 69
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Time perception is not precise. Signals encoded in different sensory modalities that arrive within about an 80 millisecond time window tend to be perceived as synchronous, whereas signals arriving outside this window typically seem asynchronous. However, the relative timings that seem synchronous are subject to change, a phenomenon called temporal recalibration. Currently, it is thought that temporal recalibration is indicative of changes in the speed at which information is encoded in the brain. This thesis explores another possibility: that temporal recalibration results from adopting flexible criteria for deciding what constitutes synchrony. Critical predictions for the latter hypothesis are that conflicting criteria can be maintained for different combinations of sensory signals, and that the criteria adopted for one combination of signals need not impact a novel combination. Two experiments were conducted to test these proposals. Participants adapted to alternating trains of bi-modal signal combinations (i.e., audio-visual and visual-tactile) with the audio and tactile signals offset from visual signals in opposite directions (if audio signals led, tactile signals lagged, or vice versa). Subsequently participants were presented with different combinations of cross modal tests (audio-visual, tactile-visual, or audio-tactile) at a range of offsets, and asked if the test signals seemed synchronous. Results showed that synchrony perception shifted in opposite directions for the two adapted combinations of cross modal signal, and that this had no impact for the non-adapted combination. These findings suggest that temporal recalibration is not induced by slowing or speeding sensory analyses, but by adopting flexible criteria for different combinations of sensory signal.
Keyword Temporal recalibration
Mechanics of time perception

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Created: Mon, 25 Feb 2013, 15:19:17 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology