Saccades and Subjective Time in Seconds Range Duration Reproduction

in Timing & Time Perception
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A transient suppression of visual perception during saccades ensures perceptual stability. In two experiments, we examined whether saccades affect time perception of visual and auditory stimuli in the seconds range. Specifically, participants completed a duration reproduction task in which they memorized the duration of a 6 s timing signal during the training phase and later reproduced that duration during the test phase. Four experimental conditions differed in saccade requirements and the presence or absence of a secondary discrimination task during the test phase. For both visual and auditory timing signals, participants reproduced longer durations when the secondary discrimination task required saccades to be made (i.e., overt attention shift) during reproduction as compared to when the discrimination task merely required fixation at screen center. Moreover, greater total saccade duration in a trial resulted in greater time distortion. However, in the visual modality, requiring participants to covertly shift attention (i.e., no saccade) to complete the discrimination task increased reproduced duration as much as making a saccade, whereas in the auditory modality making a saccade increased reproduced duration more than making a covert attention shift. In addition, we examined microsaccades in the conditions that did not require full saccades for both the visual and auditory experiments. Greater total microsaccade duration in a trial resulted in greater time distortion in both modalities. Taken together, the experiments suggest that saccades and microsaccades affect seconds range visual and auditory interval timing via attention and saccadic suppression mechanisms.

Saccades and Subjective Time in Seconds Range Duration Reproduction

in Timing & Time Perception

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References

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Figures

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    Schematic illustration of the trial types in Experiment 1. See the Methods section for detailed descriptions of each condition.

  • View in gallery

    For each condition of Experiment 1, the group mean reproduced duration is indicated by a horizontal black bar and the individual participant mean reproduced durations are indicated by filled black circles.

  • View in gallery

    The relationship between saccade duration and reproduced duration in the Saccade–Discrimination condition of Experiment 1 is illustrated. The estimated fixed effect of saccade duration on reproduced duration is indicated by the solid black line and the shaded area demarcates the 95% pointwise confidence interval around this effect. The circles represent individual trial data from all participants contributing to the mixed effects analysis.

  • View in gallery

    The relationships between microsaccade duration and reproduced duration in the various No Saccade conditions of both Experiment 1 (left) and Experiment 2 (right) are illustrated. For each plot, the estimated fixed effect of microsaccade duration on reproduced duration is indicated by the solid black line and the shaded area demarcates the 95% pointwise confidence interval around this effect. The circles represent individual trial data from all participants contributing to the mixed effects analysis.

  • View in gallery

    Schematic illustration of the trial types in Experiment 2. See the Methods section for detailed descriptions of each condition.

  • View in gallery

    For each condition of Experiment 2, the group mean reproduced duration is indicated by a horizontal black bar and the individual participant mean reproduced durations are indicated by filled black circles.

  • View in gallery

    The relationship between saccade duration and reproduced duration in the Saccade–Discrimination condition of Experiment 2 is illustrated. The estimated fixed effect of saccade duration on reproduced duration is indicated by the solid black line and the shaded area demarcates the 95% pointwise confidence interval around this effect. The circles represent individual trial data from all participants contributing to the mixed effects analysis.

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