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Judging time estimates using a model of perceptuo-motor control

Grealy, Madeleine and Craig, Cathy M. and Bourdain, Christophe and Coleman, Simon G. (2004) Judging time estimates using a model of perceptuo-motor control. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16 (7). pp. 1185-1195. ISSN 0898-929X

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Estimating a time interval and temporally coordinating movements in space are fundamental skills, but the relationships between these different forms of timing, and the neural processes that they incur, are not well understood. While different theories have been proposed to account for time perception, time estimation, and the temporal patterns of coordination, there are no general mechanisms which unify these various timing skills. This study considers whether a model of perceptuo-motor timing, the τGUIDE, can also describe how certain judgements of elapsed time are made. To evaluate this, an equation for determining interval estimates was derived from the τGUIDE model and tested in a task where participants had to throw a ball and estimate when it would hit the floor. The results showed that in accordance with the model, very accurate judgements could be made without vision (mean timing error 19.24 msec), and the model was a good predictor of skilled participants' estimate timing. It was concluded that since the τGUIDE principle provides temporal information in a generic form, it could be a unitary process that links different forms of timing.