Sports experts' unique perception of time duration based on the processing principle of an integrated model of timing.

Research paper by Binbin B Jia, Zhongqiu Z Zhang, Tian T Feng

Indexed on: 21 Mar '20Published on: 21 Mar '20Published in: PeerJ


Duration perception is an essential part of our cognitive and behavioral system, helping us interact with the outside world. An integrated model of timing, which states that the perceived duration of a given stimulus is based on the efficiency of information extraction, was recently set forth to improve current understanding of the representation and judgment of time. However, the prediction from this model that more efficient information extraction results in longer perceived duration has not been tested. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate whether sports experts, as a group of individuals with information extraction superiority in situations relevant to their sport skill, have longer duration perceptions when they view expertise-related stimuli compared with others with no expertise/experience. For this study, 81 subjects were recruited based on a prior power analysis. The sports experts group had 27 athletes with years of professional training in diving; a wrestler group and a nonathlete group, with each of these groups having 27 subjects, were used as controls. All participants completed a classic duration reproduction task for subsecond and suprasecond durations with both the diving images and general images involved. The divers reproduced longer durations for diving stimuli compared with general stimuli under both subsecond and suprasecond time ranges, while the other samples showed the opposite pattern. Furthermore, the years of training in diving were positively correlated with the magnitude of the prolonged reproduction duration when divers viewed diving stimuli. Moreover, the diver group showed a more precise duration perception in subsecond time range for general stimuli compared with the wrestlers and nonathletes. The results suggest that sports experts perceive longer duration when viewing expertise-related stimuli compared with others with no expertise/experience. ©2020 Jia et al.