New Perspectives on Vierordt’s Law: Memory-Mixing in Ordinal Temporal Comparison Tasks

  • Bon-Mi Gu
  • Warren H. Meck
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6789)


Distortions in temporal memory can occur as a function of differences in signal modalities and/or by the encoding of multiple signal durations associated with different timing tasks into a single memory distribution – an effect referred to as “memory mixing”. Evidence for this type of memory distortion and/or categorization of signal durations as an explanation for changes in temporal context (e.g., duration ranges), as well as for Vierordt’s law (e.g., overestimation of “short” durations and underestimation of “long” durations), can be studied by examining proactive interference effects from the previous trial(s). Moreover, we demonstrate that individual differences in the magnitude of this “memory-mixing” phenomenon are correlated with variation in reaction times for ordinal temporal comparisons as well as with sensitivity to feedback effects in the formation of duration-specific memory distributions.


Timing and time perception Interval timing Memory distributions Individual differences Modality differences Feedback effects Reaction time 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bon-Mi Gu
    • 1
  • Warren H. Meck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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