Effect of the luminance signal on adaptation-based time compression

Inci Ayhan, Aurelio Bruno, Shin'ya Nishida, Alan Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditionally, time perception has been considered the product of a central, generic, cognitive mechanism. Recent evidence, however, has shown that high temporal frequency adaptation induces local reductions in the apparent duration of brief intervals suggesting a distributive system with modality-specific sensory components. Here, we examine the effect of the luminance signal on these adaptation-based temporal distortions. Our results show that the luminance signal is crucial to generate duration compression as the effect disappears at isoluminance and that low visibility and task difficulty at isoluminance cannot explain the discrepancy. We also demonstrate that the effects of adaptation on perceived duration are dissociable from those on apparent temporal frequency. These results provide further evidence for the involvement of the magnocellular system in the neural encoding and representation of visual time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2011

Bibliographical note



  • Adaptation, Physiological/physiology
  • Adult
  • Color Vision/physiology
  • Contrast Sensitivity/physiology
  • Discrimination (Psychology)/physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Orientation/physiology
  • Perceptual Distortion/physiology
  • Photic Stimulation/methods
  • Sensory Thresholds/physiology
  • Time Perception/physiology
  • Visual Pathways/physiology
  • Visual Perception/physiology

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