Interval timing: memory, not a clock

Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Jul;9(7):312-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2005.05.013.


Anticipation of periodic events signalled by a time marker, or interval timing, has been explained by a separate pacemaker-counter clock. However, recent research has added support to an older idea: that memory strength can act as a clock. The way that memory strength decreases with time can be inferred from the properties of habituation, and the underlying process also provides a unified explanation for proportional timing, the Weber-law property and several other properties of interval timing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Periodicity
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Time Factors
  • Time*