Contextual Influences of Dimension, Speed, and Direction of Motion on Subjective Time Perception

Student Co-author

CMC Undergraduate

Document Type



Psychology (CMC)

Publication Date



Research has indicated that the direction of motion and the speed of motion can influence the subjective estimates of temporal duration of two-dimensional (2-D) stimuli expanding and contracting within the picture plane. In this study, we investigated whether the contextual cues of stimulus/movement-plane dimensionality (2-D stimuli with implied movement in the picture plane or depth-rendered “3-D” stimuli with implied movement in the depth plane) influence and interact with speed and implied movement direction during interval estimation. Participants viewed a series of standard stimulus durations followed by a test stimulus duration and determined whether the test and standard durations differed. The results indicated that moving stimuli were overestimated relative to stationary stimuli, regardless of the direction of motion or dimensionality. Also, faster-moving stimuli were overestimated relative to slower-moving stimuli. Importantly, an interaction between movement direction and dimensional cues indicated that the loom/recede distinction occurs for 2-D but not for 3-D stimuli. It is possible that the loom/recede distinction for the 2-D condition may be an artifact arising from reduced or from a lack of perceived motion in 2-D “recede” conditions, rather than a specific overestimation for looming stimuli.

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© 2012 Psychonomic Society, Inc.