TEMPORAL LIMITS OF MEMORY FOR TIME

  • Pierre-Luc Gamache
  • Simon Grondin

Abstract

To further explore how memory influences time judgements, we will address the question of the life span of temporal representations in memory using the “memory-mixing†account of visual/auditory differences as a framework (Penney, Allan, Gibbon & Meck, 1998). In bisection tasks, these authors reported that the perceived duration of intervals differs according to the modality of the signals used for marking time. Modality differences only show up when there is a direct comparison of different marker-type intervals. In other words, the memory trace of previously processed intervals influences the perception of upcoming ones. In the present experiment, we manipulated the delay between auditory/visual signal presentations. In Condition 1, signals from the same modality were grouped by blocks of 60 trials; in Condition 2, visual and auditory signals were randomized across trials. Results show that the auditory/visual difference decreased when modalities were grouped by blocks, but remained present. In brief, 1) Penney et al.’s results were successfully replicated; 2) the critical role of memory for auditory/visual differences was highlighted by manipulating the delay; and 3) in this experimental context, the life span of a memorized interval is most likely inferior to the duration of a 60-trial block.

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