Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Inner and Outer Horizons of Time Experience

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Inner and Outer Horizons of Time Experience

Article excerpt

Human experience of temporal durations exhibits a multi-regional structure, with more or less distinct boundaries, or horizons, on the scale of physical duration. The inner horizons are imposed by perceptual thresholds for simultaneity ([asymptotically =] 3 ms) and temporal order ([asymptotically =] 30 ms), and are determined by the dynamical properties of the neural substrate integrating sensory information. Related to the inner horizon of experienced time are perceptual or cognitive "moments." Comparative data on autokinetic times suggest that these moments may be relatively invariant ([asymptotically =] 102 ms) across a wide range of species. Extension of the "sensible present" ([asymptotically =] 3 s) defines an intermediate horizon, beyond which the generic experience of duration develops. The domain of immediate duration experience is delimited by the ultimate outer horizon at about [asymptotically =]102 s, as evidenced by analysis of duration reproduction experiments (reproducibility horizon), probably determined by relaxation times of "neural accumulators." Beyond these phenomenal horizons, time is merely cognitively (re)constructed, not actually experienced or "perceived," a fact that is frequently ignored by contemporary time perception research. The nyocentric organization of time experience shows an interesting analogy with the egocentric organization of space, suggesting that structures of subjective space and time are derived from active motion as a common experiential basis.

Keywords: autokinetic time, dual klepsydra model, duration reproduction, phenomenal horizon, psychophysics, subjective time, temporal experience

La experiencia humana de las duraciones temporales exhibe una estructura multi-regional, con fronteras, u horizontes, mas o menos definidos, en la escala de la duracion fisica. Los umbrales perceptivos de la simultaneidad ([asymptotically =]3 ms) y el orden temporal ([asymptotically =]30 ms) imponen los horizontes internos y los determinan las propiedades dinamicas del substrato neuronal que integra la informacion sensorial. Los "momentos" preceptuales o cognitivos se relacionan con el horizonte interno del tiempo experimentado. Los datos comparativos sobre tiempos autoquineticos sugieren que estos momentos pueden ser relativamente invariantes ([asymptotically =]102 ms) a traves de una amplia variedad de especies. La extension del "presente sensible" ([asymptotically =]3 s) define un horizonte intermedio, a partir del cual se desarrolla la experiencia generica de la duracion. El dominio de experiencia de duracion inmediata es delimitado por el ultimo horizonte externo en aproximadamente [asymptotically =]102 s, como demuestra el analisis de los experimentos de la reproduccion de la duracion (la reproducibilidad del horizonte), probablemente determinado por los tiempos de relajacion de los "acumuladores neuronales." Mas alla de estos horizontes fenomenologicos, el tiempo meramente se (re)construye cognitivamente, no es experimentado ni "percibido", un hecho que a menudo es ignorado por la investigacion contemporanea de la percepcion del tiempo. La organizacion niocentrica de la experiencia del tiempo muestra una interesante analogia con la organizacion egocentrica del espacio, sugiriendo que las estructuras de espacio y tiempo subjetivos se derivan del movimiento activo como una base experimental comun.

Palabras clave: tiempo autoquinético, modelo dual klepsidra, reproducción de la duración, horizonte fenomenológico, psicofísica, tiempo subjetivo, experiencia temporal

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


"We are confounded and perplexed about time," wrote George Berkeley (1730/1996) in a letter to his friend Samuel Johnson. During the following centuries, discussions and speculations on the nature of time demonstrated the truth of Berkeley's words. Time has often been called a "problem," even a "mystery" (Nichols, 1891) or an "enigma" (Boslough, 1990). …

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