About TIMELY

 

An important issue in cognitive science is time perception (TP) and its underlying processes. Researchers

have attempted to study time from various aspects (e.g., order, duration). For example, one wonders how

we perceive synchronous and unified multisensory events, given that different sensory systems require

varying amounts of time to receive and process a given input. Longstanding questions relate to the neural

and cognitive mechanisms controlling TP. How does the perception of time become distorted and what

factors modulate this change? How can we advance neurorehabilitation through the study of time? Other

questions concern time’s interactions with action, space, memory, attention, and language;

consciousness; development; and neurological/psychiatric conditions. Until now, scientists have been

trying to answer these fundamental questions, most often from a single-discipline perspective. It is clear,

however, that multiple disciplines must meet and collaborate in order to resolve these questions; to this

day this union has not been attempted.

 

Thus, this COST Action aims to tackle TP issues by bringing together scientists involved in the study of

time from different perspectives. This will allow us to exchange ideas, develop strategies for solving

problems, develop research materials/tools, and design a network for a common multidisciplinary effort to

disentangle the issues of TP. To date, researchers, in isolation or in conflict, have produced new

knowledge on TP. This knowledge is coupled with many problems (within/across disciplines) and a number

of unanswered questions, that mainly relate with:

 

Definition and measurement of time: Currently, there is no common code of communication as to

the different aspects of TP. A debatable definition also leads to problematic measurement methodology.

 

Resolving performance-variability issues in TP: High variability in the perception of time has been

reported within and between individuals. This variability represents a barrier in understanding time.

 

Extending time research to ecologically-valid stimuli: The majority of time-research has focused on

simple stimuli, making necessary the use of more informationally-rich stimuli for advancing TP research.

 

Uncovering the neural correlates of TP: Advances in neuroimaging allow us to observe the brain-

in-action. We need to identify the techniques appropriate for TP and examine time distortions in specific

neurological/psychiatric conditions.