Time perception: the bad news and the good

Wiley Interdiscip Rev Cogn Sci. 2014 Jul;5(4):429-446. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1298.


Time perception is fundamental and heavily researched, but the field faces a number of obstacles to theoretical progress. In this advanced review, we focus on three pieces of 'bad news' for time perception research: temporal perception is highly labile across changes in experimental context and task; there are pronounced individual differences not just in overall performance but in the use of different timing strategies and the effect of key variables; and laboratory studies typically bear little relation to timing in the 'real world'. We describe recent examples of these issues and in each case offer some 'good news' by showing how new research is addressing these challenges to provide rich insights into the neural and information-processing bases of timing and time perception. WIREs Cogn Sci 2014, 5:429-446. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1298 This article is categorized under: Psychology > Perception and Psychophysics Neuroscience > Cognition.

Publication types

  • Review