Foreperiod and range effects on time interval categorization

Authors: Laflamme, Vincent; Zakay, Dan; Gamache, Pierre-Luc; Grondin, Simon
Abstract: One factor influencing the perceived duration of a brief interval is the length of the period preceding it, namely the foreperiod (FP). When multiple FPs are varied randomly within a testing session, longer FPs result in longer perceived duration. The purpose of this study was to identify what characteristics modulate this effect. In a task where participants were asked to categorize the duration of target intervals with respect to a 100-ms standard, the FPs were distributed over a 150-, 300-, or 900-ms range with the midpoint (1000 ms) of these distributions being kept constant. The results indicate that the effect of the length of variable FPs on perceived duration was much stronger in the 900-ms range condition. More specifically, this effect is due to the differences between the shortest FPs. The results also reveal that, overall, there are more short responses in the 300-ms condition than in the other range conditions. Moreover, the data reveal that the narrower the distribution, the better the discrimination. One interpretation of the main result (range effect) is that a wider distribution leads to an increased prior uncertainty towards the foreperiod length. -- Keywords : Perception and action; Attention and memory; Categorization.
Issue Date: 29 May 2015
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
This document was published in: Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, Vol. 77 (5), 1507–1514 (2015)
Alternative version: 10.3758/s13414-015-0937-y
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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