Is subjective duration a signature of coding efficiency?
Eagleman D, Pariyadath V; Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 12 July 2009 vol. 364 no. 1525 1841-1851; doi: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0026
Perceived duration is conventionally assumed to correspond with objective duration, but a growing literature suggests a more complex picture. For example, repeated stimuli appear briefer in duration than a novel stimulus of equal physical duration. We suggest that such duration illusions appear to parallel the neural phenomenon of repetition suppression, and we marshal evidence for a new hypothesis: the experience of duration is a signature of the amount of energy expended in representing a stimulus, i.e. the coding efficiency. This novel hypothesis offers a unified explanation for almost a dozen illusions in the literature in which subjective duration is modulated by properties of the stimulus such as size, brightness, motion and rate of flicker.
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