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  • Author or Editor: Sylvie Droit-Volet x
  • Primary Language: eng x
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Abstract

This study aimed to examine intra-individual differences in both duration and passage of time (PoT) judgments, and the relationships between them, for a wide range of durations going from a few hundred milliseconds to several minutes. Participants performed a study with a within-subjects design with durations in the milliseconds (200–400 ms), seconds (2–4 s), tens of seconds (20–40 s) and minutes (2–4 min) ranges. For the duration judgments, the results revealed individual differences in temporal accuracy between short durations (<3 s) and long durations (>20 s). In contrast, positive relationships were observed for PoT judgments across the different time scales, except for the millisecond duration. Finally, a significant correlation between duration and PoT judgments appeared in our study only for durations longer than 1 s. Taken together, these results support the temporal taxonomy that distinguishes between the processing of short and long durations, with the latter likely being modulated by memory mechanisms and the awareness of the PoT.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify the age at which parameters of timing performance in a temporal bisection task converge on an adult-like stable level. Participants in the three- to 20-year-old range were tested using a temporal bisection task with sub-second and supra-second durations. The data were divided into two samples. In the first sample, all participants were integrated into the analysis regardless of their success. In the second sample, only performers were inserted. The point of subjective equality (PSE) and the Weber Ratio (WR) were analyzed for each participant in each sample. By fitting a mathematical model to these parameters as a function of age, we showed a large inter-individual variability in the PSE, such that it does not stabilize with increasing age, i.e., during the significant period of development. Interestingly, time sensitivity (WR) shows a similar pattern through the two samples as adult-like performance appeared at an earlier age for short than for long durations. For the first sample, the modeling of WR data suggests that the children reached an adult-like time sensitivity at the age of six years for the short durations and 8½ years for the long durations. For the second sample, the developmental curve was stable at about the same age for the long duration (seven years), and at earlier age for the short durations, i.e., before three years.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Temporal memory is formed from processes encoding and consolidating durations in memory. These processes can be enhanced in acute stressful contexts, which increase the arousal level, typical of the alert phase of the General Adaptation Syndrome of stress. However, prolonged stressful experiences (chronic stress) can cause damage to the storage of duration in memory. This study investigated the effects of psychological and physiological stress on the temporal memory of 50 nurses working in an emergency situation. They performed a temporal generalization task with a retention delay of 24 hours between the learning of a standard duration (4 s) and testing. Their blood was collected to examine circulating inflammatory markers related to stress. Their feeling of stress was also examined with two self-reported questionnaires, the Job Stress Scale (JSS) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The results show that temporal judgment is more variable when participants have high exposure to occupational stress (JSS). A quadratic relationship was also observed between the accuracy of time judgment and the level of perceived stress. Indeed, the proportion of accurate responses increased until a certain threshold of perceived stress, and then decreased. The results also showed a significant quadratic relationship between nitric oxide and the proportion of accurate responses. A low stress level is positively related to improving memory for a time, consistent with the reaction triggered in the alarm stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome of stress. However, above a certain level of stress, psychological and physiological stress damages temporal memory.

In: Timing & Time Perception

Abstract

This study examined the judgment of the passage of time in elderly people living in retirement homes, focusing on the passage of time experienced in the present and that judged retrospectively for short periods (last day, week, month) and longer periods of life (last year, now compared with five years ago, as we get older). Participants’ cognitive abilities and feelings of happiness were also assessed among other dimensions. Results showed no significant relationship between these three forms of judgment of the passage of time, except between the judgment of the passage of time for the present and for the day. In addition, the level of happiness was a significant predictor of both the momentary judgment of the passage of time and the retrospective judgment of the passage of time for shorter periods. In contrast, the individual differences in cognitive abilities better explained differences in the retrospective judgment of the passage of time for longer periods. As discussed, the different forms of judgment of the passage of time are therefore based on different cognitive mechanisms.

In: Timing & Time Perception