ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (6): 935-944.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00935

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The multidimensional spatial representation of time: Dissociations on its ontogenetic origin and activation mechanism

HE Tingyu, DING Yi, LI Haokun, CHENG Xiaorong, FAN Zhao, DING Xianfeng()   

  1. School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2019-05-28 Online:2020-06-15 Published:2020-04-22
  • Contact: DING Xianfeng


A growing body of evidence suggested that time can be represented separately either on the lateral, sagittal or vertical axis. However, how these mental time lines originate and be activated remains controversial. Recent evidence supports that the lateral mental time line mainly originates from sensorimotor experience associated with reading/writing habits, and the activation may be a low-level sensorimotor mechanism. In contrast, the sagittal/vertical mental time line mainly originates from spatial metaphor in language, and the activation may be a high-level semantic mechanism. The future study should focus more on the diversity of origins, the gene basis, the neural mechanism and the analogy between mental time lines and mental number lines.

Key words: mental time line, origin, activation, embodied simulation, metaphor mapping

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