Temporal Integration of the Brain as Studied with the Metronome Paradigm

  • Elzbieta Szelag


It is well known that our subjective experience of the passage of time is influenced by what we are doing. More than 70 years ago, Axel (1925) theorized that the level of behavioral activity determines the experience of time. The subjective flow of time is influenced by the amount of information processed or by the mental content. It is commonly believed that time appears to pass rapidly if one is engaged in a higher order of behavioral activity. In contrast, a low level of behavioral activity results in the impression that time is dragging. Retrospectively, this impression may be turned around; a rapid passage of time leads to a long subjective duration, a slow passage of time to a short subjective duration. Considerable support for such observations comes from experimental studies on reproduction of temporal intervals (Fraisse 1984). Although several experimental studies have investigated the effect of the information content of presented stimuli on the reproduction of time intervals, the influence of such a content on presemantic temporal integration (PTI) has not been studied before (e.g., Pöppel 1994 and this volume; Ruhnau 1995). To gain better insight into mechanisms underlying PTI, we report here some observations concerning the integration of temporal information contained in continuous beats of a metronome.


Temporal Information Behavioral Activity Spatial Ability Memory Span Temporal Integration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elzbieta Szelag
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurophysiologyNencki Institute of Experimental BiologyWarsawPoland

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