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Abstract

Little is known about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the way people construct their time perspective (TP). This study investigated past and future TP in Hubei, China, comparing a ‘pre-pandemic’ sample collected before the pandemic (late 2019, n = 138) to a ‘habitual-pandemic’ sample collected when the pandemic was largely under control (beginning 2021, n = 109). Using the time line paradigm, participants generated significant past and future personal events indicating dates, emotional valence, and intensity for each. We used these data to test the predictions that the COVID-19 pandemic would shorten TP and evoke pessimism for the future and disappointment for the past. Counter to these predictions, we found: (a) typical levels of positivity in both samples for both past and future events; (b) a higher proportion of positive memories in the habitual-pandemic sample than pre-pandemic one; (c) past and future time extension in the habitual-pandemic sample; and (d) the future was more often completed with one’s own ‘peaceful death’ in the habitual-pandemic sample. To determine whether the ‘peaceful death’ phenomenon is adaptive or maladaptive we examined its coincidence with other timeline characteristics. The analyses indicated that the ‘peaceful death’ phenomenon in both samples was associated with a moderately positive TP and a plurality of prospects with frequent references to travel. These results allow to propose that an elongated TP and a distant ‘peaceful death’ may buffer pandemic-related uncertainty and that an accelerated TP functions in the service of self-continuity and well-being.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Abstract

The quality of a concert hall primarily depends on its acoustics. But does visual input also have an impact on musical enjoyment? Does the color of ambient lighting modulate the perceived music quality? And are certain colors perceived to fit better than others with a given music piece? To address these questions, we performed three within-subjects experiments. We carried out two pretests to select four music pieces differing in tonality and genre, and 14 lighting conditions of varying hue, brightness, and saturation. In the main experiment, we applied a fully crossed repeated-measures design. Under each of the four lighting conditions, participants rated the musical variables ‘Harmonic’, ‘Powerful’, ‘Gloomy’, ‘Lively’ and overall liking of the music pieces, as well as the perceived fit of music and lighting. Subsequently, participants evaluated music and lighting separately by rating the same variables as before, as well as their emotional impact (valence, arousal, dominance). We found that music and lighting being similarly rated in terms of valence and arousal in the unimodal conditions were judged to match better when presented together. Accordingly, tonal (atonal) music was rated to fit better with weakly saturated (highly saturated) colors. Moreover, some characteristics of the lighting were carried over to music. That is, just as red lighting was rated as more powerful than green and blue lighting, music was evaluated to be more powerful under red compared to green and blue lighting. We conclude that listening to music is a multisensory process enriched by impressions from the visual domain.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

This article analyzes the design, development, and evaluation of a program on the contemplation of beauty through art aimed at museums: Mysteria, the Beauty of Silence. It investigates if this program is an efficient way to cultivate the awareness of beauty and to favor its transformative power via the art that is contained within museums. The program had a gradual development and included the design of specific art-contemplation techniques. These techniques are eclectically based on the influence of Zen practices, Advaita Vedanta, Yoga, Mindfulness and the guidelines given by Mark Rothko to enable meaningful experiences. The program was developed in the Can Framis Museum of Barcelona (Spain). Twenty-four participants between the ages of 31 and 65 years each contributed over a period with a duration of nine weeks. The usage of a mixed methodology, both quantitative and qualitative, allowed demonstration of the existence of marked changes in the participants in terms of their significant experience with immaterial beauty.

In: Art & Perception

Abstract

We report two experiments designed to investigate whether the presentation of a range of pleasant fragrances, containing both floral and fruity notes, would modulate people’s judgements of the facial attractiveness (Experiment 1) and age (Experiment 2) of a selection of typical female faces varying in age in the range 20–69 years. In Experiment 1, male participants rated the female faces as less attractive when presented with an unpleasant fragrance compared to clean air. The rated attractiveness of the female faces was lower when the participants rated the unpleasant odour as having a lower attractiveness and pleasantness, and a higher intensity. In Experiment 2, both male and female participants rated the age of female faces while presented with one of four pleasant fragrances or clean air as a control. Only the female participants demonstrated a crossmodal effect, with the pleasant fragrances inducing an older rating for female faces in the 40–49-years-old age range, whereas a younger rating was documented for female faces in the 60–69-years-old age range. Taken together, these results are consistent with the view that while the valence of fragrance (pleasant versus unpleasant) exerts a robust crossmodal influence over judgements of facial attractiveness, the effects of pleasant fragrance on judgements of a person’s age appear to be less reliable. One possible explanation for the differing effect of scent in the two cases relates to the fact that attractiveness judgements are more subjective, hedonic, and/or intuitive than age ratings which are more objective, cognitive-mediated, and/or analytic in nature.

Open Access
In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

An eye-tracking and questionnaire study was set up in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) to investigate the perception and appreciation of three Frank Stella paintings from the 60s (Tuxedo Park Junction and Effingham I from the collection of the museum and a hand-painted replica of Hiraqla Variation II). Effingham and Hiraqla were shown next to a printed copy without fluorescent colors, for a direct comparison between the two versions. The main purpose of the study was to assess whether the works were experienced according to Stella’s prescriptions as defined in his Modernist ‘logic’: all-overness, flatness, instantaneousness and self-referentiality. We found that the perception of Tuxedo resulted in a well-structured, coherent heatmap, while a more or less even distribution of fixations over the surface was found in the case of Effingham and Hiraqla (and their copies), which indicates that Stella’s target of all-overness was achieved better in the last two works. Although Stella claimed to have created “flat and frontal” paintings, depth was experienced, especially in Tuxedo and the Hiraqla replica. In the latter, this was mainly caused by the protruding fluorescent colors. Also, in this work more fixations were found in fluorescent-colored areas when corrected for area size. No such effect was found in the original Effingham painting. Most participants found only Effingham to be instantaneously capturable. In the case of Tuxedo, the specific material qualities, like alkyd and open canvas, were rarely recognized, which undermines Stella’s aim for self-referentiality. Participants noticed the fluorescent effect in the Hiraqla replica, but they did not mention other material qualities. A reverse effect was found for Effingham.

In: Art & Perception

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the cue congruency effect of auditory stimuli during visual search in dynamic environments. Twenty-eight participants were recruited to conduct a visual search experiment. The experiment applied auditory stimuli to understand whether they could facilitate visual search in different types of background. Additionally, target location and target orientation were manipulated to clarify their influences on visual search. Target location was related to horizontal visual search and target orientation was associated with visual search for an inverted target. The results regarding dynamic backgrounds reported that target-congruent auditory stimuli could speed up the visual search time. In addition, the cue congruency effect of auditory stimuli was critical for the center of the visual display but declined for the edge, indicating the inhibition of horizontal visual search behavior. Moreover, few improvements accompanying auditory stimuli were provided for the visual detection of non-inverted and inverted targets. The findings of this study suggested developing multisensory interaction with head-mounted displays, such as augmented reality glasses, in real life.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

This article is initially focussed on Warren Meck’s early work on temporal reference memory, in particular the idea that some drug manipulations affect ‘memory storage speed’. Meck’s original notion had links to an earlier literature, not usually related to timing, the study of memory consolidation. We present some examples of the use of the idea of memory storage speed from Meck’s early work, and show how it was abandoned in favour of a ‘memory constant’, K*, not related to storage speed per se. Some arguments against the idea of memory storage speed are presented, as well as discussion of a small amount of research on consolidation of memories for time. Later work on temporal reference memory, including rapid acquisition and interference effects, is also discussed.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Abstract

In this review, we discuss how specific sensory channels can mediate the learning of properties of the environment. In recent years, schools have increasingly been using multisensory technology for teaching. However, it still needs to be sufficiently grounded in neuroscientific and pedagogical evidence. Researchers have recently renewed understanding around the role of communication between sensory modalities during development. In the current review, we outline four principles that will aid technological development based on theoretical models of multisensory development and embodiment to foster in-depth, perceptual, and conceptual learning of mathematics. We also discuss how a multidisciplinary approach offers a unique contribution to development of new practical solutions for learning in school. Scientists, engineers, and pedagogical experts offer their interdisciplinary points of view on this topic. At the end of the review, we present our results, showing that one can use multiple sensory inputs and sensorimotor associations in multisensory technology to improve the discrimination of angles, but also possibly for educational purposes. Finally, we present an application, the ‘RobotAngle’ developed for primary (i.e., elementary) school children, which uses sounds and body movements to learn about angles.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

Temporal-order judgment (TOJ) and duration perception are fundamental aspects of subjective time experience. Previous research indicates that both may involve the inferior parietal lobe (IPL), yet the two have been studied in different contexts. This study sought to determine whether the IPL causally contributes to the temporal stimulus encoding process in TOJ and duration perception. To this end, we utilized single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as both a task stimulus and a disruptive stimulant. We combined the two tasks into an adaptive staircase method and measured both discrimination thresholds and reaction times. In a 2 × 2 within-subjects design, 24 participants performed the two tasks over two separate days (left or right IPL). Discrimination thresholds during both tasks were significantly higher in right IPL than left IPL conditions, without significant reaction time differences between the conditions. We thus provide a shared neural substrate within the right IPL, which subserves both temporal-order judgment and duration perception by encoding temporal representations. Our novel use of single-pulse TMS would be useful for other TMS studies in terms of the ability to selectively disrupt the stimulus encoding process and experimental efficiency.

In: Timing & Time Perception
Author: John H. Wearden

Abstract

This article discusses the contents of two of the earliest publications about the experimental psychology of time, those from and . Höring’s thesis, conducted under Vierordt’s supervision, involved the discrimination of the relative rates of successive periods of beats of a metronome. In general, timing sensitivity decreased as the beats slowed, thus violating Weber’s Law of constant sensitivity for time. conducted a range of experiments, using metronomes, pendulums, and different sorts of apparatus of his own design. He, likewise, found violations of Weber’s Law, with the Weber fraction following a U-shaped function of duration, with a minimum (of around 5%) at 500 or 600 ms. Mach also conducted research on the smallest temporal intervals that could be distinguished, following an earlier suggestion by Czermak, and reported that the smallest values were obtained with the auditory sense. Mach’s article also discussed the perception of rhythms, and the possibility that different animal species show different sensitivity to time. Some modern work on Weber’s Law and timing is briefly discussed at the end of the article.

In: Timing & Time Perception