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Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 10;6:27947. doi: 10.1038/srep27947.

Perceived visual time depends on motor preparation and direction of hand movements.

Author information

1
Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy.
2
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Centre for Cognition, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6525 HR Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, via San Zeno 31, 56123 Pisa, Italy.
4
Scientific Institute Stella Maris, Viale del Tirreno 331, 56018 Calambrone, Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

Perceived time undergoes distortions when we prepare and perform movements, showing compression and/or expansion for visual, tactile and auditory stimuli. However, the actual motor system contribution to these time distortions is far from clear. In this study we investigated visual time perception during preparation of isometric contractions and real movements of the hand in two different directions (right/left). Comparable modulations of visual event-timing are found in the isometric and in the movement condition, excluding explanations based on movement-induced sensory masking or attenuation. Most importantly, and surprisingly, visual time depends on the movement direction, being expanded for hand movements pointing away from the body and compressed in the other direction. Furthermore, the effect of movement direction is not constant, but rather undergoes non-monotonic modulations in the brief moments preceding movement initiation. Our findings indicate that time distortions are strongly linked to the motor system, and they may be unavoidable consequences of the mechanisms subserving sensory-motor integration.

PMID:
27283474
PMCID:
PMC4901279
DOI:
10.1038/srep27947
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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