Changes in apparent duration follow shifts in perceptual timing

Aurelio Bruno, Inci Ayhan, Alan Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is well established that the apparent duration of moving visual objects is greater at higher as compared to slower speeds. Here we report the effects of acceleration and deceleration on the perceived duration of a drifting grating with average speed kept constant (10°/s).For acceleration, increasing the speed range progressively reduced perceived duration. The magnitude of apparent duration compression was determined by speed rather than temporal frequency and was proportional to speed range (independent of standard duration) rather than acceleration. The perceived duration reduction was also proportional to the standard length. The effects of increases and decreases in speed were highly asymmetric. Reducing speed through the interval induced a moderate increase in perceived duration. These results could not be explained by changes in apparent onset or offset or differences in perceived average speed between intervals containing increasing speed and intervals containing decreasing speed. Paradoxically, for intervals combining increasing speed and decreasing speed, compression only occurred when increasing speed occurred in the second half of the interval. We show that this pattern of results in the duration domain was concomitant with changes in the reported direction of apparent motion of Gaussian blobs, embedded in intervals of increasing or decreasing speed, that could be predicted from adaptive changes in the temporal impulse response function. We detected similar changes after flicker adaptation, suggesting that the two effects might be linked through changes in the temporal tuning of visual filters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • Acceleration
  • Adaptation, Physiological/physiology
  • Deceleration
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Perception/physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual/physiology
  • Time Factors

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