Measure of Time: A Meeting Point of Psychophysics and Fundamental Physics

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Abstract:

In the present paper the relation between objective and subjective time is studied from a neutral non-dualist perspective Adoption of the relational concept of time leads to fundamental problems of time measurement of the uniformity of time measures, and of a native measure of duration in subjective experience. Experimental data on discrimination and reproduction of time intervals are reviewed and relevant models of internal time representations are discussed. Special attention is given to the 'dual klepsydra model' (DKM)and to the outstanding properties of the reproduction func- tion yielded by the DKM Time scales generated by a DKM-based reproduction mechanisms are studied It is shown that such 'klepsydraic clocks' generate time measures which are non-uniform with respect to objective time yet internally consistent within an ensemble of such clocks and in this sense 'quasi-uniform' . Competing concepts of subjective time and modeling principles of internal time representation are briefly discussed Some interesting parallels be- tween our psychophysical approach and E.A. Milne's treatment of the problem of uniform time are drawn in the Appendix .

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Empirical and Analytical Psychophysics Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, Freiburg, Germany.

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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