Time-shrinking, its propagation, and Gestalt principles

Takayuki Sasaki, Daigoh Suetomi, Yoshitaka Nakajima, Gert Ten Hoopen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


When a relatively short empty time interval is preceded by an even shorter one, its duration can be underestimated remarkably. This phenomenon, called time-shrinking, has been investigated with patterns consisting of two time intervals. In five experiments, we investigated whether underestimation of the last interval would occur when it was preceded by two time intervals. Significant underestimations of the last interval occurred in some of those patterns. The influence of the second preceding interval was dominant, but in some patterns, the first preceding interval could shrink the subjective duration of the last time interval directly. The first interval could also affect perception of the duration of the last one indirectly by shrinking the second interval, as a result of which the latter either shrank the last interval more strongly or became too short to shrink it. There were two types of temporal patterns in which the perceived duration of the last interval could not be explained by time-shrinking or its propagation through the pattern. It seemed plausible that auditory Gestalt principles invoked strong figural organizations in these patterns, which rendered the time-shrinking mechanism inoperative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-931
Number of pages13
JournalPerception and Psychophysics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Psychology


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