RETROSPECTIVE, AND PROSPECTIVE CONSIDERATIONS ON PSYCHOPHYSICAL MEASUREMENT EMANATING FROM TIME PERCEPTION STUDIES

  • Hannes Eisler

Abstract

Retrospective, What kind of invariances should we look for, and where? Can we catch thelack of invariance by parameter values? The empirically obtained linearity between standardand set ratio in ratio setting in general and in duration reproduction in particular leadsuniquely to a power function describing the relation between stimulus and sensation—anexample of invariance. Applying the parallel-clock model (H. Eisler, 1975) makes thedetermination of the parameter values possible without the observers having to use numerals.The parameters should not only be regarded as fitting constants; they carry informationabout time-structuring behavior, as in, e.g., group differences, experimental conditions, andindividual differences—which otherwise could be seen as simply lack of invariance (H. Eisler,Eisler, and Hellström, 2008).Prospective. (1) Nonlinear psychophysical dynamics deals not only with the end result of asensory process but also attempts to follow the building-up of a sensation (over time). (2) Aclose connection between brain processes and psychophysical variables seems imminent.Empirically obtained breaks in the psychophysical function for duration are in line withThatcher and John's (1977) assumption that time experience is built up from iterative neuralloops (see Eisler, 1996). Furthermore, a recent discovery of number neurons (Dehaene, 2003,Nieder & Miller, 2003) promises fast advances in psychophysics.
Section
Full Articles