Individual differences in vulnerability to subjective time distortion


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Abstract

Time duration is perceived to be longer when accompanied by dynamic sensory stimulation than when accompanied by static stimulation. This distortion of time perception is thought to be due to the acceleration of an internal pacemaker that has been assumed to be the main component of temporal judgments. In order to investigate whether the function of the internal pacemaker is modality dependent or independent, we examined the correlation of visual flicker and auditory flutter effects on a temporal production task. While seeing a 10-Hz visual flicker or hearing a 10-Hz auditory flutter, participants estimated a duration of 2500 ms as accurately as possible by pressing a button. The results showed a significant within-individual correlation between the time distortion due to visual flicker and that due to auditory flutter. Additionally, we found that time distortion due to auditory flutter tended to be larger in female participants than in male participants. These results suggest that the mechanisms underlying subjective time dilation are similar between vision and audition within individuals, but that they vary across individuals.

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