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D. Alexander Varakin; Normal scenes seem to last longer than jumbled scenes. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):1110. doi: 10.1167/11.11.1110.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Many findings in perception science suggest that space and time perception are interdependent. However, past research typically used simple stimuli. The current experiments tested whether spatial structure of naturalistic scenes affects perceived duration. In three experiments, scene structure was manipulated by jumbling pictures, which effectively reduces spatial extents (c.f. Varakin & Levin, 2008, QJEP). If spatial processing contributes to duration judgments, the perceived duration of normal scenes should be longer than jumbled scenes (greater extents = greater duration). In all experiments, participants first learned to respond to short (400 ms in Experiments 1 and 2; 1000 ms in Experiment 3) and long (1600 ms in Experiments 1 and 2; 2200 ms in Experiment 3) “standard durations”. Subsequently, normal and jumbled scenes were presented for one of 7 durations, ranging from the short to the long standard in 200ms increments. Participants indicated whether the duration was closer to the short or long standard. In Experiment 1 (n = 15), there was a main effect of scene jumbling: normal scenes elicited more “long” responses than jumbled scenes (54% vs. 51%). In Experiment 2 (n = 23), “windowpanes” were added to normal and jumbled scenes to equate the number of line terminators. Again, normal scenes elicited more “long” responses (52% vs. 51%). The effect was not significant (p = .19), but there was a significant interaction between actual duration and jumbling (p = .046), apparently driven by simple effects consistent with the hypothesis outlined above. Experiment 3 (n = 19) was identical to Experiment 2, except all actual durations were increased by 600ms. As in Experiments 1 and 2, normal scenes elicited more long responses than jumbled scenes (57% vs. 55%). This effect was marginally significant (p = .06). To increase statistical power, Experiments 2 and 3 were analyzed together. There was a significant effect of jumbling (p = .024). Overall, these results suggest that space and time perception are interdependent (to some degree) in the context of naturalistic scene perception.
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