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ERIC Number: EJ993013
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Discrete Events as Units of Perceived Time
Liverence, Brandon M.; Scholl, Brian J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v38 n3 p549-554 Jun 2012
In visual images, we perceive both space (as a continuous visual medium) and objects (that inhabit space). Similarly, in dynamic visual experience, we perceive both continuous time and discrete events. What is the relationship between these units of experience? The most intuitive answer may be similar to the spatial case: time is perceived as an underlying medium, which is later segmented into discrete event representations. Here we explore the opposite possibility--that our subjective experience of time itself can be influenced by how durations are temporally segmented, beyond more general effects of change and complexity. We show that the way in which a continuous dynamic display is segmented into discrete units (via a "path shuffling" manipulation) greatly influences duration judgments, independent of psychophysical factors previously implicated in time perception, such as overall stimulus energy, attention and predictability. It seems that we may use the passage of discrete events--and the boundaries between them--in our subjective experience as part of the raw material for inferring the strength of the underlying "current" of time. (Contains 4 figures and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A