Memory decay enhances central bias in time perception

Natsuki Ueda, Kanji Tanaka, Katsumi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Temporal expectations are essential for appropriately interacting with the environment, but they can be biased. This tendency, called central bias, places higher weights on expected rather than actual duration distributions when perceiving incoming sensory stimuli. In particular, the central bias is strengthened in order to decrease total response error when incoming sensory stimuli are unclear. In the present study, we investigated whether the central bias was enhanced via memory decay. For this, we used a delayed reproduction task, manipulating retention periods by introducing delays between the sample interval and the reproduction phase (0.4, 2, 4 s in Experiment 1; 0.4, 2, 8 s in Experiments 2 and 3). Through three experiments, we found the gradual strengthening of the central bias as a function of the retention period (i.e., short-term memory decay). This suggests that the integration of temporal expectation, generated from past trials and stored sensory stimuli, in a current trial occurs in the reproduction phase in the delayed reproduction task.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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