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J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 1998 Jan;24(1):15-33.

Scalar expectancy theory and peak-interval timing in humans.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, USA.

Abstract

The properties of the internal clock, temporal memory, and decision processes used to time short durations were investigated. The peak-interval procedure was used to evaluate the timing of 8-, 12-, and 21-s intervals, and analyses were conducted on the mean response functions and on individual trials. A distractor task prevented counting, and visual feedback on accuracy and precision was provided after each trial. Mean response distributions were (a) centered at the appropriate real-time criteria, (b) highly symmetrical, and (c) scalar in their variability. Analysis of individual trials indicated more memory variability relative to response threshold variability. Taken together, these results demonstrate that humans show the same qualitative timing properties that other animals do, but with some quantitative differences.

PMID:
9438963
DOI:
10.1037//0097-7403.24.1.15
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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