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Aditya Upadhyayula, Ian Phillips, Jonathan Flombaum; Space and Time Dissociate in the Construction of the Visual Now. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):1433. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1433.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
How are events occurring at different times and places integrated into a unified experience of what is happening now? We report experiments that sequester and dissect the visual now. In particular, we consider how a moment of visual experience combines events occurring at different times and locations. Our first two experiments rely on a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) paradigm, because serial error distributions in the paradigm generally suggest temporal uncertainty in visual experience. In each trial an RSVP stream of letters appeared at the fovea. Participants reported the letter in the stream that they perceived simultaneously with a transient peripheral cue. In Experiment 1, participants made errors, sometimes reporting letters from the stream that actually appeared before or after the cue. The pattern of errors suggests that the cue arrived in visual experience faster than the foveated RSVP stream. Critically, eccentric cues produced more before errors than parafoveal cues. In other words, eccentric cues appear to arrive in experience faster than parafoveal cues. These effects cannot be explained by Posner-like attention shifts, which predict the opposite pattern (errors on letters that appear after the cue). In Experiment 2, the cue was presented between two letters in the RSVP, producing results that conceptually replicate Experiment 1. Finally, in Experiment 3, we sought to further understand how eccentricity influences temporal experience.Participants reproduced the durations of discs that appeared at either eccentric or more foveal positions. Peripheral discs were reliably reported as lasting longer than foveated ones, given thesame objective duration. Collectively, these results suggest that space and time dissociate as events are stitched into a moment of experience
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