GAMIT - A Fading-Gaussian Activation Model of Interval-Timing: Unifying Prospective and Retrospective Time Estimation

French, Robert M.; Addyman, Caspar; Mareschal, Denis and Thomas, Elizabeth. 2014. GAMIT - A Fading-Gaussian Activation Model of Interval-Timing: Unifying Prospective and Retrospective Time Estimation. Timing & Time Perception, 1(2), pp. 1-17. ISSN 2213-445X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Two recent findings constitute a serious challenge for all existing models of interval timing. First, Hass and Hermann (2012) have shown that only variance-based processes will lead to the scalar growth of error that is characteristic of human time judgments. Secondly, a major meta-review of over one hundred studies of participants' judgments of interval duration (Block et al., 2010) reveals a striking interaction between the way in which temporal judgments are queried (i.e., retrospectively or prospectively) and cognitive load. For retrospective time judgments, estimates under high cognitive load are longer than under low cognitive load. For prospective judgments, the reverse pattern holds, with increased cognitive load leading to shorter estimates. We describe GAMIT, a Gaussian spreading activation model of interval timing, in which the decay and sampling rate of an activation trace are differentially affected by cognitive load. The model unifies prospective and retrospective time estimation, normally considered separately, by relating them to the same underlying process. The scalar property of time estimation arises naturally from the model dynamics and the model shows the appropriate interaction between mode of query and cognitive load

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Additional Information:

Caspar Addyman and Robert M. French are joint first authors of this paper. This work was supported in part by a joint grant from the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-10-056 GETPIMA), and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (RES-062-23-0819) within the framework of the Open Research Area (ORA) France-UK funding initiative. DM is partially supported by a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.


Activation-based model,Interval-timing,Retrospective and prospective timing,Time perception

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24 December 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2016 15:33

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:13

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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