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The perceived present: What is it and what is it there for?

White, Peter 2020. The perceived present: What is it and what is it there for? Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 27 , pp. 583-601. 10.3758/s13423-020-01726-7

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It is proposed that the perceived present is not a moment in time, but an information structure comprising an integrated set of products of perceptual processing. All information in the perceived present carries an informational time marker identifying it as “present”. This marker is exclusive to information in the perceived present. There are other kinds of time markers, such as ordinality (“this stimulus occurred before that one”) and duration (“this stimulus lasted for 50 ms”). These are different from the “present” time marker and may be attached to information regardless of whether it is in the perceived present or not. It is proposed that the perceived present is a very short-term and very high-capacity holding area for perceptual information. The maximum holding time for any given piece of information is ~100 ms: This is affected by the need to balance the value of informational persistence for further processing against the problem of obsolescence of the information. The main function of the perceived present is to facilitate access by other specialized, automatic processes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1069-9384
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 March 2020
Date of Acceptance: 6 March 2020
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2020 14:26

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