Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.

Time perception

What is time perception?

Time perception involves the capacity to accurately process temporal information that is embedded in relevant events. The ability to perceive, remember, and organise behaviour in periods ranging from seconds to minutes mediates functions, from basic motor coordination to decision making. As time intervals make different demands on other cognitive processes, it is difficult to disentangle deficits in temporal perception from deficits in attention and memory.

There are several types of time perception. Explicit timing involves a deliberate estimate of a discrete duration of time, while implicit timing is an automatic process that is engaged whenever sensorimotor information is temporally structured. Automatic timing involves no attentional or cognitive modulation and is primarily involved in timing intervals in the subsecond range. Cognitively controlled timing is primarily based on higher level cognitive processes such as attention and memory that are recruited for longer periods. Perceptual timing involves estimates of duration in the form of perceptual discrimination, while motor timing involves estimates of duration in the form of motor response.

What is the evidence for time perception?

Moderate quality evidence suggests a medium-sized effect of poorer explicit timing in people with schizophrenia than in controls, with no significant differences in the effect size according to type of timing task (automatic vs. controlled) or method of timing task (motor vs. perceptual).


June 2017

Page last updated: 4:59  6 September 2017

To view documentation related to this topic download the files below