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Speeding up time: Hierarchical Bayesian drift diffusion modelling evidence for accelerating temporal accumulation

Tipples, Jason; Lupton, Michael; George, David


Jason Tipples


Time perception is malleable - it can be made to speed up and slow down by various experimental manipulations including the presentation of a sequence of auditory clicks and also angry facial expressions. Recent evidence supports the idea that auditory click trains increase accumulation of evidence across time. Here, we test this idea for both angry expressions and auditory clicks by modelling response times (and choice responses) using Bayesian Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Modelling. Two separate groups of participants (Experiment 1; n = 29; Experiment 2; n = 38) judged the duration of angry and neutral facial expressions preceded by either a 3-s sequence of auditory clicks or silence. In both experiments, standard psychophysical analyses showed that both clicks and angry expressions lengthened the perception of time. The original finding came from the analyses of the Drift Diffusion Modelling parameter that represents the speed of information accumulation - the drift rate parameter. Drift rates grew in magnitude with the duration of the face and moreover this effect was larger when the faces were either preceded by clicks or appeared angry - evidence for accelerating temporal accumulation. This novel insight would not have been possible from traditional psychophysical analyses and therefore, the results highlight the potential value of Bayesian Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Modelling as a tool for understanding how we perceive time.


Tipples, J., Lupton, M., & George, D. (2021). Speeding up time: Hierarchical Bayesian drift diffusion modelling evidence for accelerating temporal accumulation. Timing and Time Perception, 9(4), 393-416.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 1, 2021
Online Publication Date Apr 13, 2021
Publication Date 2021-07
Deposit Date Oct 15, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Timing and Time Perception
Print ISSN 2213-445X
Electronic ISSN 2213-4468
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 4
Pages 393-416
Keywords Temporal distortion; Temporal bisection; Emotion; Pacemaker; Diffusion modelling
Public URL


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