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Modelling Chronometric Counting

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Participants performed on a temporal generalization task with standard durations being either 4 or 8 s, and comparison durations ranging from 2.5 to 5.5, or 5 to 11 s. They were required to count during all stimulus presentations, and counts were recorded as spacebar presses. Generalization gradients around both standard values peaked at the standard, but the gradient from the 8-s condition was steeper. Measured counts had low variance, both within trials and between trials, and a start process, which was different from the counting sequence, could also be identified in data. A computer model assuming that a comparison duration was identified as the standard when the count value for the comparison was one that had previously occurred for a standard fitted the temporal generalization gradients well. The model was also applied to some published data on temporal reproduction with counting, and generally fitted data adequately. The model makes a distinction between the variance of the count unit from one trial to another, and the counts within the trial, and this distinction was related to the overall variance of behaviours resulting from counting, and the ways in which variability of timing measures change with the duration timed.

Affiliations: 1: School of Psychology, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK


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