ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (6): 775-793.

• 主编特邀 •     Next Articles

“Temporal Windows” as Logistical Basis for Cognitive Processing

Ernst Poeppel;Yan BAO;Bin ZHOU   

  1. (1 Institute of Medical Psychology and Human Science Center, University of Munich, Germany)
    (2 Department of Psychology and Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University,
    Beijing 100871, China) (3 Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China)
  • Received:2011-03-07 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2011-06-15 Published:2011-06-15
  • Contact: Yan Bao

Abstract: Temporal processing is an intrinsic feature of cognitive processing. Thus, it is important to have an understanding about temporal processing in perception or cognition in general. To overcome some extrinsic challenges in central information processing, the brain has apparently developed special temporal windows within which information is integrated. One such window has been found in the range of some tens of milliseconds, and it serves to create the necessary building blocks for conscious activity. Empirical evidence comes from studies on reaction time, temporal order threshold or oscillatory responses in neuronal structures. Another temporal window operates in the range of two to three seconds and it serves to create the “subjective presence”, or temporal integration intervals within which the identity of percepts is maintained. Empirical evidence comes from studies on the reproduction of time intervals, ambiguous figures, sensorimotor synchronization or neurophysiological research. Another kind of temporal window is given with the diurnal rhythms; all psychological or physiological functions show apparently a 24-hour variability. Disturbances in temporal windows may show up in neurological or psychiatric diseases indicating the importance of studies in temporal processing beyond basic research.

Key words: temporal perception, order threshold, reaction time, neuronal oscillation, circadian rhythm