Theses Doctoral

Memory for Time

Van Volkinburg, Heather

Research on the perception of time has focused on isolating an internal time keeping mechanism. This focus has caused research in this domain to stay focused on perceptual mechanisms. However, information that has been perceived must also be stored into memory. The dominant model of time perception, SET, specifies a clock stage, a memory stage, and a decision stage, but there has been comparatively more research focusing on the internal clock than on memory mechanisms. This dissertation focuses on the memory for time by incorporating manipulations used in non-temporal memory research into timing tasks.

Chapter 1 targets working memory for time and shows that brief delays between learning and recall cause temporal estimates to lengthen. Chapter 2 targets retention and storage of multiple time intervals over a delay of a few minutes and shows that the estimates of target times learned together will migrate towards each other in memory. We also showed that scalar variability arises at retrieval.

Chapter 3 attempts to reconfigure a categorization task to target implicit memory for time. Overall, the research demonstrates that exploring memory mechanisms for time will increase our understanding of time perception and provide us with information that focusing on the internal clock will not.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Balsam, Peter
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 23, 2014