The Effect of Motor Response, Sensory Modality, and Intensity on Temporal Reproduction

TitleThe Effect of Motor Response, Sensory Modality, and Intensity on Temporal Reproduction
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsIndraccolo, A, Spence, C, Vatakis, A, Harrar, V
Conference NameProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
KeywordsDuration perception

Abstract The ability to perceive a filled interval of time is affected by numerous non-temporal factors, such as the modality and intensity of the stimulus, and cognitive load. The present study explores the role of modality (auditory and visual), stimulus intensity (weak or strong), and motor response speed on the subjective duration of short (<1s) filled intervals. In order to determine if there is a common underlying cause for all of these effects, or if they independently affect duration reproduction, we conducted a temporal reproduction and a reaction time (RT) task to measure duration perception and motor response speed, respectively. For the reproduction task, in accordance with previous studies, the reproduced duration was affected both by stimulus modality and stimulus intensity; longer reproduction times were observed for visual as compared to auditory stimuli, and for low intensity as compared to high intensity stimuli. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that stimulus duration, modality, and intensity as well as participants' \{RTs\} were all significant independent predictors of the durations reproduced by the participants. That is, temporal reproduction is affected by response times which itself is affected by processing speed. While stimulus intensity and modality affect processing speed, they seem to have an additional effect on perception duration. These results support the view that the effect of modality on the reproduction task may not simply be attributable to modality-driven processing differences (i.e., slower visual stimulus processing), but instead to a faster auditory pacemaker.