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Timing, sequencing, and temporal processing resources
New England Sequencing and Timing (NEST) 14th Annual Meeting (2004)
  • Scott W. Brown, University of Southern Maine
  • Merchant S. M., University of Southern Maine
Many time perception experiments have employed dual-task methodology in which subjects perform a time judgment task concurrently with a nontemporal distractor task. Compared with single-task conditions, time judgments under dual-task conditions typically show more error and variability. Fewer studies, however, have examined performance on the distractor task. Distractor task performance is an important issue from an attentional resource viewpoint. Resource theory predicts that two concurrent tasks relying on common resources should produce a pattern of bidirectional interference. In the current research, we selected a sequence reasoning task to serve as a distractor task. We speculated that timing and sequencing both involve temporal information processing, and so probably invoke similar cognitive mechanisms. Therefore, simultaneous timing and sequencing tasks should produce mutual interference. Subjects performed timing and sequencing tasks both singly and concurrently in a series of 2-min trials. The timing task required subjects to generate a series of 5-sec temporal productions. The sequencing task required subjects to verify reasoning statements that described the ordering of a pair of letters (e.g., A precedes B-BA); subjects responded True or False to each statement as quickly as possible. Comparisons of single-task and dual-task conditions provided evidence of bidirectional interference: (a) the sequencing task interfered with timing by making temporal productions longer and more variable, and (b) the timing task interfered with sequencing by lengthening response times to the reasoning statements. The results suggest that timing and sequencing are related cognitive tasks that rely on a common set of temporal processing resources.
  • temperal processing
Publication Date
March, 2004
Citation Information
Scott W. Brown and Merchant S. M.. "Timing, sequencing, and temporal processing resources" New England Sequencing and Timing (NEST) 14th Annual Meeting (2004)
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