Time Production Intensively Studied in One Observer





time production, internal clock, psychophysical function, flicker, time perception


If one accepts the notion of an internal clock, then one must further presume that time production (TP) is attuned with the rate of functioning of the clock’s pacemaker. As the level of environmental stimulation increases, TP of the same target durations should decrease; this is particularly the case when one is exposed to flicker. In the present exploratory study, wherein the second author served in an n = 1 experiment, we intensely study TP, using a factorial design that crosses a factor of Flicker with one of Counting Strategy, to create 48 different conditions (sessions). In each session, 6 target intervals are produced a total of 6 times in a counterbalanced manner. Our results indicate that as flicker rate increases, produced duration decreases, as predicted. The main effect for flicker was found for the intercept, but not for the slope of the psychophysical function relating produced duration to target duration. Veridical perception is achieved at a flicker rate of 6 Hz. We uncovered no main effect for counting, suggesting that flicker swamps any impact of chronometric counting.