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Perception of time in the context of action

Team

Miriam Ruess

Miriam Ruess      

PhD Candidate

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Roland Tomaschke

Roland Thomaschke

Principal Investigator       

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Andrea Kiesel

Andrea Kiesel

Principal Investigator     

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Abstract

Action affects perception in multiple ways. One particularly interesting phenomenon is a systematic distortion of time perception in the context of actions. The time of an action is judged as later when the action is followed by an effect compared to when it is not. Likewise, the time of an effect is judged as earlier when it is preceded by an action compared to when it is not (e.g., Haggard, Aschersleben, Gehrke, & Prinz, 2002). Thus, actions and effects are perceived as temporally closer together than they are physically. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as intentional binding (IB). The role and function of IB in our cognitive system is currently intensely debated (Hughes, Desantis, & Waszak, 2013). A contentious issue is, for example, whether IB is elicited by primarily predictive or postdictive processes (Moore & Haggard, 2008). However, it is commonly assumed that IB is closely related to experiencing stimuli as effects of own actions (i.e., sense of agency, Humphreys & Buehner, 2009). This close relation is emphasized, for example, by findings that passive movements (i.e., finger lifted by a key popping up) do not produce IB. Consequently, executing actions voluntarily and intentionally seems to be a precondition for IB. The main research interest of the project concerns the relation between IB and sense of agency. We aim at elucidating the factors impacting on both phenomena, and at systematically investigating their mutual dependencies. Among other factors, effect predictability, effect delay, action context – including social multi agent contexts – will be studied. In particular we investigate whether time perception of action-effect intervals and sense of agency depend on the variability of action-effect episodes. Additionally, we aim to elaborate the impact of learning processes concerning the point in time of an effect on time perception and sense of agency. Finally we are interested in the impact of top-down strategical knowledge on time perception of actions and effects.

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