When Causality Shapes the Experience of Time: Evidence for Temporal Binding in Young Children.

Emma Blakey, Emma Tecwyn, Teresa McCormack, David Lagnado, Christoph Hoerl, Sara Lorimer, Marc J. Buehner

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Abstract

It is well-established that the temporal proximity of two events is a fundamental cue to causality. Recent research with adults has shown that this relation is bidirectional: events that are believed to be causally related are perceived as occurring closer together in time—the so-called temporal binding effect. Here we examined the developmental origins of temporal binding. Participants predicted when an event that was either caused by a button press, or preceded by a non-causal signal, would occur. We demonstrate for the first time that children as young as four years are susceptible to temporal binding. Binding occurred both when the button press was executed via intentional action, and when a machine caused it. These results suggest binding is a fundamental, early developing property of perception and grounded in causal knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12769
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental science
Early online date10 Nov 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 10 Nov 2018

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