A preliminary study of the cognitive mechanisms supporting time estimation

Annalena Venneri, Simon Pestell, Paolo Nichelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence from neuropsychological studies has suggested that verbal and visuospatial abilities might be differentially involved in time perception and that, because there is specialised competence, the two brain hemispheres might play different roles in time-keeping mechanisms. Reported are results of three experiments in which the time estimates of normal adults were tested using a prospective paradigm while they were engaged in concurrent secondary tasks requiring visuospatial or verbal memory and attention. Analysis showed no convincing evidence in support of a differential role of either verbal or visuospatial abilities in time estimation. The greatest disruption in time accuracy was detected when participants performed the time estimation tasks concurrently with secondary working memory tasks. These findings emphasize the importance of the involvement of specific cognitive systems rather than cognitive domains in the processing of temporal information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1106
Number of pages14
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number3 II
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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