Unpredictable visual changes cause temporal memory averaging

Junji Ohyama*, Katsumi Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Various factors influence the perceived timing of visual events. Yet, little is known about the ways in which transient visual stimuli affect the estimation of the timing of other visual events. In the present study, we examined how a sudden color change of an object would influence the remembered timing of another transient event. In each trial, subjects saw a green or red disk travel in circular motion. A visual flash (white frame) occurred at random times during the motion sequence. The color of the disk changed either at random times (unpredictable condition), at a fixed time relative to the motion sequence (predictable condition), or it did not change (no-change condition). The subjects' temporal memory of the visual flash in the predictable condition was as veridical as that in the no-change condition. In the unpredictable condition, however, the flash was reported to occur closer to the timing of the color change than actual timing. Thus, an unpredictable visual change distorts the temporal memory of another visual event such that the remembered moment of the event is closer to the timing of the unpredictable visual change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2727-2731
Number of pages5
JournalVision Research
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Temporal memory
  • Temporal perception
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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