Studying Psychological Time with Weber’s Law

  • S. Grondin
Part of the NATO Science Series book series (NAII, volume 95)


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 [1], rhythm and music cognition [2] and intersensory integration [3], 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.


Psychometric Function Difference Threshold Weber Fraction Cumulative Normal Distribution Weber Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Grondin
    • 1
  1. 1.École de PsychologieUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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