Manual chronostasis: Tactile perception precedes physical contact

Yarrow, K. & Rothwell, J. C. (2003). Manual chronostasis: Tactile perception precedes physical contact. Current Biology, 12(13), pp. 1134-1139. doi: 10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00413-5

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Abstract

When saccading to a silent clock, observers sometimes think that the second hand has paused momentarily. This effect has been termed chronostasis and occurs because observers overestimate the time that they have seen the object of an eye movement. They seem to extrapolate its appearance back to just prior to the onset of the saccade rather than the time that it is actually fixated on the retina. Here, we describe a similar effect following an arm movement: subjects overestimate the time that their hand has been in contact with a newly touched object. The illusion's magnitude suggests backward extrapolation of tactile perception to a moment during the preceding reach. The illusion does not occur if the arm movement triggers a change in a continuously visible visual target: the time of onset of the change is estimated correctly. We hypothesize that chronostasis-like effects occur when movement produces uncertainty about the onset of a sensory event. Under these circumstances, the time at which neurons with receptive fields that shift in the temporal vicinity of a movement change their mappings may be used as a time marker for the onset of perceptual properties that are only established later.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: INTERNAL CLOCK, EYE-MOVEMENTS, VISUAL SPACE, TIME, REPRESENTATION, LOCALIZATION, ATTENTION, DURATION, NEURONS, SYSTEM
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/335

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