Interval timing measures time estimation in the seconds-to-minutes range. Antarctica provides a real-world context to study the effect of extreme photoperiods and isolation on time perception. The aim of this study was to explore interval timing as a cognitive measure in the crew of Belgrano II Argentine Antarctic Station. A total of 13 subjects were assessed for interval timing in short (3 s), intermediate (6 s) and long (12 s) duration stimuli. Measures were taken during the morning and evening, five times along the year. Significant variations were found for 3 s and 6 s during the morning and 6 s during the evening. Results suggest an impact of isolation on morning performances and an effect of the polar night on evening measures. These findings shed some light on the use of interval timing as a cognitive test to assess performance in extreme environments.
Keywords: Antarctica; Circadian rhythms; Extreme environment; Interval timing; Polar night.
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