Humans' time evaluation within the range of hundreds of milliseconds is often distorted, and time is judged as much longer than actually is. This consistent overestimation has been interpreted as an indicator of the threshold level for the sensitivity of the perceptuomotor system. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the perception of time, both in sub- and supra-second timescales, changes for elite athletes that are considered as individuals with highly developed motor perceptual capabilities and with great sense of time particularly for the extremely short timescales. For this purpose, we asked elite pole-vaulters to reproduce the exposure times of a familiar image showing a pole-vault jump and non-familiar images as a fencing lunge and scrambled pixels and compared their estimates with controls. While the time distortion in the supra-second range was similar for athletes and controls independently from the image presented, in the sub-second range of time, athletes were more accurate and less variable than controls, while for all the participants, the images were perceived differently. Time was perceived as shorter when viewing the pole-vault jump image followed by the fencing lunge and last the scrambled pixels, providing the evidence that action observation distorts individuals' time perception by compressing the perceived passage of time. Remarkably though pole-vaulters' higher precision and lower variability than controls indicate their ability to compensate for this distortion due to a well-refined internal clock developed through sport training.

Time flies when we view a sport action

PIZZOLATO, Fabio;CESARI, Paola
2014

Abstract

Humans' time evaluation within the range of hundreds of milliseconds is often distorted, and time is judged as much longer than actually is. This consistent overestimation has been interpreted as an indicator of the threshold level for the sensitivity of the perceptuomotor system. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the perception of time, both in sub- and supra-second timescales, changes for elite athletes that are considered as individuals with highly developed motor perceptual capabilities and with great sense of time particularly for the extremely short timescales. For this purpose, we asked elite pole-vaulters to reproduce the exposure times of a familiar image showing a pole-vault jump and non-familiar images as a fencing lunge and scrambled pixels and compared their estimates with controls. While the time distortion in the supra-second range was similar for athletes and controls independently from the image presented, in the sub-second range of time, athletes were more accurate and less variable than controls, while for all the participants, the images were perceived differently. Time was perceived as shorter when viewing the pole-vault jump image followed by the fencing lunge and last the scrambled pixels, providing the evidence that action observation distorts individuals' time perception by compressing the perceived passage of time. Remarkably though pole-vaulters' higher precision and lower variability than controls indicate their ability to compensate for this distortion due to a well-refined internal clock developed through sport training.
Time perception; time evaluation; time reproduction; implied action; action observation; elite athletes
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/635752
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