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Dunja Storch, Eckart Zimmermann; The effect of space on subjective time is mediated by apparent velocity. Journal of Vision 2019;19(14):19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.14.19.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In contrast to the intuitive and traditional assumption of a centralized and universal neural clock, many recent studies have provided evidence against this idea. Here, we investigated whether subjective duration is estimated by a mechanism that tracks the trajectory of a moving object. Such a mechanism would integrate over the velocity and the spatial distance the object traveled to derive its duration. We exposed observers to a moving object that covered either a small or large spatial distance. We found that subjective duration decreased after this exposure when intervals were tested that were defined by stimuli covering a large, but not by stimuli covering a small, spatial distance. We compared the effects of our velocity exposure to previously used adaptation to a drifting grating and found a dependence of spatial distance only for velocity exposure. The finding that temporal estimations decrease after exposure to fast-moving stimuli selectively at large distances suggests that subjective duration is derived from measurements of velocity and space.
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