FOREPERIOD’S LENGTH AND VARIABILITY INFLUENCE THE PERCEPTION OF BRIEF TIME INTERVALS

  • Pierre-Luc Gamache
  • Dan Zakay
  • Vincent Laflamme
  • Simon Grondin

Abstract

The period of time preceding an interval to be timed is called the foreperiod (FP). When multiple FPs are randomly varied within a testing session, longer FPs result in longer perceived duration. The aim of the present study is to test an attentional account of the impact of the FP on perceived duration (a) by comparing directly with a within-subjects design the relative effects of variable and constant FPs, and (b) by using different ranges of FP’s durations in order to reach a potential limit to this effect. Results show that the impact of the variable FP is smaller when FPs belong to a longer range and that the influence of FPs on perceived duration might differ from that reported in the reaction times literature when they are constant.

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