Asymmetry of the discrimination function for temporal durations in human subjects
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Ten human subjects were comparing durations of pairs of visual stimuli in a two-way forced-choice task. Mean durations of presented time intervals were ~3 s ('short') or ~6 s ('long'); the duration ratio was varied at nine levels. The Weber fractions for the short and long durations were approximately equal, ~0.22. The ratio of subjective equality was almost exactly unity for the short durations, but it was significantly reduced (~0.76) for the long durations. This asymmetry of the discrimination function indicates time-dependent change of internal representations of past durations, and is well compatible with the 'dual klepsydra model'. Model-based estimates of the internal time representation loss rate, derived from the present data, are in a good agreement with values obtained from earlier studies on duration reproduction.
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Jiri Wackermann, Department of Empirical and Analytical Psychophysics, Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, Freiburg i.Br., Germany