Mental Summation of Temporal Duration within and across SensesReport as inadecuate

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Perceiving, memorizing, and estimating temporal durations are key cognitive functions in everyday life. In this study, a duration summation paradigm was used to examine whether summation of temporal durations introduces an underestimation or overestimation bias, and whether this bias is common to visual and auditory modalities. Two within- or across-modality stimuli were presented sequentially for variable durations. Participants were asked to reproduce the sum of the two durations 0.6–1.1 s. We found that the sum of two durations was overestimated regardless of stimulus modalities. A subsequent control experiment indicated that the overestimation bias arose from the summation process, not perceptual or memory processes. Furthermore, we observed strong positive correlations between the overestimation bias for different sensory modalities within participants. These results suggest that the sum of two durations is overestimated, and that supra-modal processes may be responsible for this overestimation bias.

Author: Kohske Takahashi , Katsumi Watanabe



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