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J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2002 Apr;28(2):200-8.

Traveling in time: a time-left analogue for humans.

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Department of Psychology, Manchester University, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom.


Two experiments studied normal humans in an analogue of the time-left procedure of J. Gibbon and R. M. Church (1981). In Experiment 1 the "standard" alternative (S) was always half the length of the "comparison" time-left link (C), and S ranged from 4 to 8 s. Humans showed an increasing preference for the time-left alternative with increasing elapsed time in the interval, and indifference points strongly supported the idea of a linear, rather than a logarithmic, time scale. Experiment 2 used some conditions in which S was greater or less than C/2, and preference for the time-left alternative varied systematically with the S/C ratio. Data from both experiments showed reasonable superposition, suggesting underlying scalar timing processes in time left in humans.

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