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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Does perceptual experience consist of a single, well-ordered timeline? Many seem to assume that it does, so that for each event, we can report whether it was before, after, or simultaneous with any other event. Few have addressed the issue head on. In addition to reviewing the little available literature on this foundational topic, this chapter goes on to discuss various findings in temporal order judgments and related tasks. From these findings, some have concluded that the brain actively reconstructs the exact timing of visual, auditory, and tactile events based on factors such as perceived distance and the longer travel time of sound compared to light. But this literature is not conclusive. Results reported in older, rather neglected literature suggest that rather than perceived timing being the result of sophisticated temporal reconstruction, perceived timing is often a byproduct of Gestalt-like grouping principles.

Keywords: temporal, perceptual, grouping, brain, visual, auditory, tactile

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