The cognitive neuroscience of time perception: how psychological studies might help to dissect the timing system

Neuropsychologia. 2013 Jan;51(2):187-90. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.09.035. Epub 2012 Sep 26.


It is argued that the cognitive neuroscience of time perception does not make sufficient use of a range of experimental techniques and theoretical approaches which might be useful in "dissecting" the human timing system, and thus helping to uncover its neural basis. These techniques are mostly inspired by scalar expectancy theory, but do not depend on acceptance of that model. Most of the methods result in the same physical stimuli giving rise to systematically different time judgements, thus they avoid problems of control which have haunted some areas of the cognitive neuroscience of timing. Among the possibilities are (a) changing the basic duration judgement of stimuli and events, (b) manipulating working memory and reference memories for duration, and (c) changing temporal decision processes.

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurosciences*
  • Time Perception / physiology*