August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Action distorts perceived duration of sensory consequences
Author Affiliations
  • Clare Press
    Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Eva Berlot
    Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, UCL
  • Geoff Bird
    MRC Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry
  • Richard Ivry
    Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley
  • Richard Cook
    Department of Psychology, City University London
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 844. doi:
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      Clare Press, Eva Berlot, Geoff Bird, Richard Ivry, Richard Cook; Action distorts perceived duration of sensory consequences . Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):844. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Perceiving the sensory consequences of action accurately is essential for appropriate interaction with our physical and social environments. Successful interaction with the environment requires perception not only of the nature of our action outcomes (e.g., somatosensation on the fingertips when grasping a cup), but also crucially, the onset and duration of those outcomes. Nevertheless, our perception is rarely veridical. In the present series of experiments, we examine this problem by focusing on how movement influences the perceived duration of sensory outcomes congruent with action. In Experiment 1, participants were required to perform a lifting movement with either their index or middle finger. A short (104 – 296 ms) target vibratory tactile stimulus was presented to the moving or stationary finger, followed by a second reference vibration (200 ms). Participants judged which was of longer duration, and the point of subjective equivalence (PSE) was derived from the resulting psychometric function. In Experiments 2 and 3, participants judged observed avatar finger movements, congruent or incongruent with their own concurrent actions. In all experiments, target events were perceived as longer when the perceived event was congruent with movement. Interestingly, visual effects did not differ as a function of stimulus perspective (first or third person) or spatial location (left / right location of avatar lift relative to participant lift). These results indicate that action modulates the perceived duration of sensory events congruent with action, which may result from predictive mechanisms operating for action selection and error correction. The influence of these biases on tightly time-locked action control and social perception must be considered, given that we may be in contact with grasped objects for less time than we realize and handshakes may be briefer than we believe.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014


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