The Many Directions of Time

William Curran, C.P. Benton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Event duration perception is fundamental to cognitive functioning. Recent research has shown that localized sensory adaptation compresses perceived duration of brief visual events in the adapted location; however, there is disagreement on whether the source of these temporal distortions is cortical or pre-cortical. The current study reveals that spatially localized duration compression can also be direction contingent, in that duration compression is induced when adapting and test stimuli move in the same direction but not when they move in opposite directions. Because of its direction-contingent nature, the induced duration compression reported here is likely to be cortical in origin. A second experiment shows that the adaptation processes driving duration compression can occur at or beyond human cortical area MT+, a specialised motion centre located upstream from primary visual cortex. The direction-specificity of these temporal mechanisms, in conjunction with earlier reports of pre-cortical temporal mechanisms driving duration perception, suggests that our encoding of subsecond event duration is driven by activity at multiple levels of processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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