Taking a long look at action and time perception

Amelia R. Hunt, Craig S. Chapman, Alan Kingstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Everyone has probably experienced chronostasis, an illusion of time that can cause a clock's second hand to appear to stand still during an eye movement. Though the illusion was initially thought to reflect a mechanism for preserving perceptual continuity during eye movements, an alternative hypothesis has been advanced that overestimation of time might be a general effect of any action. Contrary to both of these hypotheses, the experiments reported here suggest that distortions of time perception related to an eye movement are not distinct from temporal distortions for other kinds of responses. Moreover, voluntary action is neither necessary nor sufficient for overestimation effects. These results lead to a new interpretation of chronostasis based on the role of attention and memory in time estimation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-136
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • time perception
  • action
  • attention
  • memory
  • saccadic eye-movements
  • voluntary action
  • perceived duration
  • chronostasis
  • intervals
  • space


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