Being able to estimate time precisely is fundamental to interact with the environment, and it is startling how our ability to track temporal intervals is prone to distortion. Unsurprisingly, researchers have studied temporal distortions extensively. Within the internal clock model framework, they have been often accounted for a change in the pacemaker's speed. However, only a few studies have tested whether these changes are eligible in children, investigating temporal distortions mainly via classical temporal bisection (in which participants should compare temporal stimuli with previously memorized durations). Since both temporal and non-specific, higher level factors mediate performance in such tasks, we decided to test time distortions in children by using a more low-level, perceptual design. Using a discrimination task and adaptation to high and low frequency vibrotactile stimulations, we compared haptic duration aftereffects in both young children (from 6 to 10 years of age) and adults. We found that sensory adaptation did not affect perceived duration in children up to 10 years of age, leading to an overall more rigid temporal representation among children who were younger. While adaptation to high frequency vibrotactile stimulations distorted perceived duration in both adults and 10 year-old children, younger participants did not experience change in perceived duration following adaptation. Conversely, adaptation to low frequency vibrotactile stimulations did not change the tested groups' perceived duration. Given the lack of temporal distortions to high frequency stimulations after adaptation in younger children, our results advocate for a different clock functioning. This suggests the internal clock functioning changes during development.

Adaptation to high-frequency vibrotactile stimulations fails to affect the clock in young children

Nicola Domenici;
2021

Abstract

Being able to estimate time precisely is fundamental to interact with the environment, and it is startling how our ability to track temporal intervals is prone to distortion. Unsurprisingly, researchers have studied temporal distortions extensively. Within the internal clock model framework, they have been often accounted for a change in the pacemaker's speed. However, only a few studies have tested whether these changes are eligible in children, investigating temporal distortions mainly via classical temporal bisection (in which participants should compare temporal stimuli with previously memorized durations). Since both temporal and non-specific, higher level factors mediate performance in such tasks, we decided to test time distortions in children by using a more low-level, perceptual design. Using a discrimination task and adaptation to high and low frequency vibrotactile stimulations, we compared haptic duration aftereffects in both young children (from 6 to 10 years of age) and adults. We found that sensory adaptation did not affect perceived duration in children up to 10 years of age, leading to an overall more rigid temporal representation among children who were younger. While adaptation to high frequency vibrotactile stimulations distorted perceived duration in both adults and 10 year-old children, younger participants did not experience change in perceived duration following adaptation. Conversely, adaptation to low frequency vibrotactile stimulations did not change the tested groups' perceived duration. Given the lack of temporal distortions to high frequency stimulations after adaptation in younger children, our results advocate for a different clock functioning. This suggests the internal clock functioning changes during development.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1078336
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