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Emotion effects on timing: attention versus pacemaker accounts.

Lui MA, Penney TB, Schirmer A - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: Participants were more likely to judge S2 as shorter than S1 when the intervening picture was emotional as compared to neutral.This effect held independent of S1 and S2 modality (Visual: Exps. 1, 2, & 3; Auditory: Exp. 4) and intervening picture valence (Negative: Exps. 1, 2 & 4; Positive: Exp. 3).Taken together, these findings indicate that emotional experiences may decrease temporal estimates and thus raise questions about the suitability of internal clock speed explanations of emotion effects on timing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.

ABSTRACT
Emotions change our perception of time. In the past, this has been attributed primarily to emotions speeding up an "internal clock" thereby increasing subjective time estimates. Here we probed this account using an S1/S2 temporal discrimination paradigm. Participants were presented with a stimulus (S1) followed by a brief delay and then a second stimulus (S2) and indicated whether S2 was shorter or longer in duration than S1. We manipulated participants' emotions by presenting a task-irrelevant picture following S1 and preceding S2. Participants were more likely to judge S2 as shorter than S1 when the intervening picture was emotional as compared to neutral. This effect held independent of S1 and S2 modality (Visual: Exps. 1, 2, & 3; Auditory: Exp. 4) and intervening picture valence (Negative: Exps. 1, 2 & 4; Positive: Exp. 3). Moreover, it was replicated in a temporal reproduction paradigm (Exp. 5) where a timing stimulus was preceded by an emotional or neutral picture and participants were asked to reproduce the duration of the timing stimulus. Taken together, these findings indicate that emotional experiences may decrease temporal estimates and thus raise questions about the suitability of internal clock speed explanations of emotion effects on timing. Moreover, they highlight attentional mechanisms as a viable alternative.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

The sequence and duration of stimuli during a trial in Experiment 1 are shown.
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pone-0021829-g001: The sequence and duration of stimuli during a trial in Experiment 1 are shown.

Mentions: Participants were seated in front of a computer screen, instructed on their task and subsequently commenced the experiment. Each trial in the experiment began with the presentation of a fixation cross at screen center for 500 ms followed by a 500 ms blank screen. Then, a circle (S1) appeared for 1200 ms followed by another blank screen of 1400, 1600, 1800, or 2000 ms duration. Next, the participant saw a negative or a neutral picture for 800 ms, followed by a 500 ms blank screen and another circle (S2). S2 was either shorter (i.e., 1040 or 1120 ms) or longer (i.e., 1280 or 1360 ms) than S1. Participants were informed that distracter pictures interleaved every S1/S2 pair and were asked to simply keep looking at the screen. The task instruction was to compare the duration of the two circles (S1 and S2) and to indicate whether S2 was shorter or longer than S1 by pressing one of two buttons on a response box following S2 offset. A new trial started 6300, 6600, 6900, or 7200 ms after the offset of S2 (Fig. 1).


Emotion effects on timing: attention versus pacemaker accounts.

Lui MA, Penney TB, Schirmer A - PLoS ONE (2011)

The sequence and duration of stimuli during a trial in Experiment 1 are shown.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3140483&req=5

pone-0021829-g001: The sequence and duration of stimuli during a trial in Experiment 1 are shown.
Mentions: Participants were seated in front of a computer screen, instructed on their task and subsequently commenced the experiment. Each trial in the experiment began with the presentation of a fixation cross at screen center for 500 ms followed by a 500 ms blank screen. Then, a circle (S1) appeared for 1200 ms followed by another blank screen of 1400, 1600, 1800, or 2000 ms duration. Next, the participant saw a negative or a neutral picture for 800 ms, followed by a 500 ms blank screen and another circle (S2). S2 was either shorter (i.e., 1040 or 1120 ms) or longer (i.e., 1280 or 1360 ms) than S1. Participants were informed that distracter pictures interleaved every S1/S2 pair and were asked to simply keep looking at the screen. The task instruction was to compare the duration of the two circles (S1 and S2) and to indicate whether S2 was shorter or longer than S1 by pressing one of two buttons on a response box following S2 offset. A new trial started 6300, 6600, 6900, or 7200 ms after the offset of S2 (Fig. 1).

Bottom Line: Participants were more likely to judge S2 as shorter than S1 when the intervening picture was emotional as compared to neutral.This effect held independent of S1 and S2 modality (Visual: Exps. 1, 2, & 3; Auditory: Exp. 4) and intervening picture valence (Negative: Exps. 1, 2 & 4; Positive: Exp. 3).Taken together, these findings indicate that emotional experiences may decrease temporal estimates and thus raise questions about the suitability of internal clock speed explanations of emotion effects on timing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.

ABSTRACT
Emotions change our perception of time. In the past, this has been attributed primarily to emotions speeding up an "internal clock" thereby increasing subjective time estimates. Here we probed this account using an S1/S2 temporal discrimination paradigm. Participants were presented with a stimulus (S1) followed by a brief delay and then a second stimulus (S2) and indicated whether S2 was shorter or longer in duration than S1. We manipulated participants' emotions by presenting a task-irrelevant picture following S1 and preceding S2. Participants were more likely to judge S2 as shorter than S1 when the intervening picture was emotional as compared to neutral. This effect held independent of S1 and S2 modality (Visual: Exps. 1, 2, & 3; Auditory: Exp. 4) and intervening picture valence (Negative: Exps. 1, 2 & 4; Positive: Exp. 3). Moreover, it was replicated in a temporal reproduction paradigm (Exp. 5) where a timing stimulus was preceded by an emotional or neutral picture and participants were asked to reproduce the duration of the timing stimulus. Taken together, these findings indicate that emotional experiences may decrease temporal estimates and thus raise questions about the suitability of internal clock speed explanations of emotion effects on timing. Moreover, they highlight attentional mechanisms as a viable alternative.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus