Studying Psychological Time with Weber’s Law
Efforts to understand psychological time have taken a range of forms, as revealed by many of the chapters of this book. A. Eisler (this volume) noted the wide variety of temporal experiences and time-research avenues in psychology, including the distinction between retrospective and prospective timing. Time is fundamental to event perception and conception , rhythm and music cognition  and intersensory integration , and the brain adapts accordingly to the temporal requirements of the environment. The brain integrates or segregates sensory information in an timely manner, linking events and forming representations that serve to situate past events and anticipate future ones. The brain adapts so well, and time is so ubiquitous, that meeting these requirements may be taken for granted. However, there are mechanisms for solving temporal requirements, and studying these mechanisms is fundamental for understanding behavior and adaptation. This could explain why so much effort has been devoted over the past 10 years to research on psychological time, either from a psychophysical, animal behavior, neuroscience or cognitive perspective, all of which are non-mutually exclusive.
KeywordsPsychometric Function Difference Threshold Weber Fraction Cumulative Normal Distribution Weber Function
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 8.Grondin, S. (2001) Time psychophysics and attention, Psychologica 28, 177–191.Google Scholar
- 12.Wearden, J.H. (1993) Decision and memories in human timing, Psychologica Belgica 33, 241–253.Google Scholar
- 20.Grondin, S. (1994) About the influence of the sensory modes on duration discrimination, in L. Ward (ed.), Fechner Day 94: Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the International Society for Psychophysics, International Society for Psychophysics, Vancouver, pp. 42–47.Google Scholar
- 21.Fraisse, P. (1978) Time and rhythm perception, in E. Carterette and M. Friedman (eds.), Handbook of Perception, Vol. VIII, Academic Press, New York, pp. 203–254.Google Scholar
- 25.Michon, J. (1978) The making of the present: A tutorial review, in J. Requin (ed.), Attention and Performance VII, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp. 89–111.Google Scholar
- 30.Grondin, S. (2002) Processing time between visual events, Brazilian Journal of Ophthalmology, in press.Google Scholar
- 34.Stroud, J.M. (1955) The fine structure of psychological time, in H. Quastler (ed.), Information Theory in Psychology: Problems and Methods, The Free Press, Glencoe, pp. 174–205.Google Scholar