The Effects of Extensive Musical Training on Time Perception Regarding Hemispheric Lateralization, Different Time Ranges and Generalization to Different Modalities

Sevinc, Emre (2007) The Effects of Extensive Musical Training on Time Perception Regarding Hemispheric Lateralization, Different Time Ranges and Generalization to Different Modalities. [Thesis]

Full text available as:

PDF (The Effects of Extensive Musical Training on Time Perception Regarding Hemispheric Lateralization, Different Time Ranges and Generalization to Different Modalities) - Submitted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Time perception and estimation are very important aspects of human behavior. Whether these are based on a single internal clock or the result of distributed and emergent processes in the brain is still a matter of debate. The present thesis investigated the effects of lateralized presentation of auditory and tactile stimulation to assess whether time estimation is lateralized and affected by stimulus modality. Additionally, performances of both female and male trained musicians were compared to those of non-musicians to evaluate the effects of gender and training in time estimation. In an identical subject design, subjects attended a time duration comparison task for short (100 to 900 milliseconds in 50 milliseconds increments with a standard stimulus of 500 msec) and long ranges (1 to 5 seconds in 250 milliseconds increments with a standard of 3000 msec) in auditory and tactile modalities. Subjects listened to pairs of sounds either monaurally or binaurally and indicated whether the two stimuli were of equal duration. Tactile (vibratory) stimuli were applied on the top of either the right or the left hand. Stimulus pairs were presented in ascending or descending order. The results suggested a gender difference; males were more accurate in time estimation. Gender differences may be due to different corpus callosum sizes between males and females. Findings also suggested that musicians were more accurate except for the short tactile range. Better performance by musicians in both modalities suggests that time estimation in one modality can be generalized to others. Additionally, an analysis of estimation errors compared to the standard durations (percent of error) indicated that overall performance was better in the long range. There was no significant laterality effect except for long range tactile condition. Better overall performances of subjects in estimating the longer standard duration suggest that there may be different timing mechanisms in the brain, such as for long ranges which may include cognitive processes and for short ranges that are more low-level (sensory) and automatic. The present results also provide support for the view that the brain does not have a lateralized internal clock.

Item Type:Thesis
Additional Information:Cognitive psychology, time perception, auditory and haptic perception, brain lateralization, music, gender and brain relationshipt
Subjects:Psychology > Applied Cognitive Psychology
Neuroscience > Biophysics
ID Code:6171
Deposited By:Sevinc, Emre
Deposited On:24 Aug 2008 11:58
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Belin, P., McAdams, S., Thivard, L., Smith, B., Savel, S., Zilbovicius, M., et al. (2002). The neuroanatomical substrate of sound duration discrimination.

Neuropsychologia, 40, 1956-1964.

Bever, T. G., & Chiarello, R. (1974). Cerebral dominance in musicians and nonmusicians. Science, 185, 537-54.

Bishop, K.M., & Wahlsten D. (1997). Sex differences in the human corpus callosum: myth or reality? Neuroscence and Biobehavioral Reviews, 21(5), 581-601

Block, R.A., Hancock, P.A., & Zakay, D. (2000). Sex differences in duration judgments: a meta-analytic review. Memory and Cognition, 28(8), 1333-46.

Bloom, J.S., Hynd, G.W. (2005). The role of the corpus callosum in interhemispheric transfer of information: excitation or inhibition? Neuropsychology Review, 15(2),


Boemio, A., Fromm, S., Braun, A., & Poeppel, D. (2005). Hierarchical and asymmetric temporal sensitivity in human auditory cortices. Nature Neuroscience, 8, 389-395.

Buonomano, D. V. (2005). A learning rule for the emergence of stable dynamics and timing in recurrent networks. Journal of Neurophysiology, 94, 2275-2283.

Buonomano, D. V., & Karmakar, U. R. (2002). How do we tell time? The Neuroscientist , 8(1), 42-51.

DeLacoste-Utamsing, M.C., & Holloway , R.L. (1982). Sexual dimorphism in the human corpus callosum. Science, 216(4553), 1431-1432.

Dolu, N., Gölgeli, A., Süer, C., Asçıoglu, M., Özesmi, Ç., & Sahin, Ö. (2004). Sexrelated differences in time estimation and the role of expectancy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 114(7), 805-815.

Dragoi, V., Staddon, J. E., Palmer, R. G., & Buhusi, C. V. (2003). Interval timing as an emergent learning property. Psychological Review, 110(1), 126-144.

Eagleman, D. M., Tse, P. U., Buonomano, D. V., Janssen, P., Nobre, A. C., & Holcombe, A. O. (2005). Time and the brain: How subjective time relates to neural time. The Journal of Neuroscience , 25 (45), 10369-10371.

Elias, L. J., Bulman-Fleming, M. B., & McManus, I. C. (1999). Visual temporal asymmetries are related to asymmetries in linguistic perception. Neuropsychologica, 37, 1243-1249.

Gazzaniga, M., Corballis, P., & Funnel, M. (2003). Temporal discrimination in the split brain. Brain and Cognition (53), 218-222.

Gibbon, J. (1977). Scalar expectancy theory and Weber's law in animal timing. Psychological Review, 84, 279-325.

Gibbon, J. & Church, R. M. (1984). Sources of variance in an information processing theory of timing. In H. Roitblat, T. G. Bever, & H. S. Terrace (Eds.), Animal cognition (pp. 465-488). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Grondin, S. (2003). Sensory modalities and temporal processing. In Helfrich, H. (Ed.), Time and Mind II: Information Processing Perspectives, (pp. 61-77).

Hildesheim, Germany: Hogrefe & Huber Publishing.

Grondin, S. (2001). From physical time to the first and second moments of psychological time. Psychological Bulletin, 127(1), 22-44.

Güçlü, B., Bolanowski, S.J. (2005) Vibrotactile thresholds of the Non-Pacinian I channel: I. Methodological issues. Somatosensory and Motor Research, 22 (1-2), 49-56.

Halberg, F., & Cornélissen, G. (1994). Introduction to chronobiology. Retrieved June 9, 2007, from

Hellige, J. B. (2001). Hemispheric Asymmetry: What's Right and What's Left (Perspectives in Cognitive Neuroscience). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Ho, Y., Cheung, M., & Chan, A.S. (2003) Music training improves verbal but not visual memory: cross-sectional and longitudinal explorations in children. Neuropsychology, 17(3), 439-450.

Jäncke, L., & Steinmetz, H. (2003). Anatomical brain asymmetries and their relevance for functional asymmetries. In K. Hugdahl, & R.J. Davidson (Eds.), The Asymmetrical Brain (187-229). Cambdridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Klapproth, F. (2003). Notable results regarding temporal memory and modality. In Helfrich, H. (Ed.), Time and Mind II: Information Processing Perspectives, (pp. 79-96). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Loftus, E.F., Schooler, J.W., Boone, S.M., & Kline, D. (1986). Time went by so slowly: Overestimation of event duration by males and females. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 1(1), 3-13.

Masaki, M., Kashioka, H., & Campbell, N. (2002). Modeling the timing characteristics of different speaking styles. Proceedings of 2002 IEEE Workshop on Speech Synthesis, (pp. 63-66).

Matell, M. S., & Meck, W. H. (2000). Neuropsychological mechanisms of interval timing behaviour. BioEssays , 94-103.

Middlebrooks, J. C., & Greenhaw, D. M. (1991). Sound localization by human listeners. Annual Review of Psychology, 1, 135-159.

Nagarajan, S. S., Blake, D. T., Wright, B. A., Byl, N., & Merzenich, M. M. (1998).

Practice-related improvements in somatosensory interval discrimination are temporally specific but generalize across skin location, hemisphere and modality. The Journal of Neuroscience, 18 (4), 1559-1570.

Nicholls, M. E. & Whelan, R. E. (1998). Hemispheric asymmetries for the temporal resolution of brief tactile stimuli. Journal of Cilinical and Experimental Neuropsychology , 20(4), 445-456.

Pantev, C., Engelien A., Candia, A.V., & Elbert, T. (2003) Representational cortex in musicians. In I. Peretz, & R. Zatorre (Eds.), The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music, (pp. 382-395). USA: Oxford University Press.

Rammsayer, T. (2003). Sensory and cognitive mechanisms in temporal processing elucidated by a model system approach. In Helfrich, H. (Ed.), Time and Mind II: Information Processing Perspectives, (pp. 97-113). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Rietveld, W. (1996). General introduction to chronobiology. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research , 29(1), 63-70.

Rubia, K., & Smith, A. (2004). The neural correlates of cognitive time management: a review. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 64, 329-340.

Schlaug, G. (2003) The brain of musicians. In I. Peretz, & R. Zatorre (Eds.), The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music, (pp. 366-381). USA: Oxford University Press.

Smith, A., Taylor, E., Lidzba, K., & Rubia K. (2003). A right hemispheric frontocerebellar network for time discrimination of several hundreds of milliseconds. Neuroimage, 20(1), 344-50.

Sullivan, E.V., Rosenbloom M.J., Desmond, J.E., Pfefferbaum, A. (2001). Sex differences in corpus callosum size: relationship to age and intracranial size.

Neurobiological Aging, 22(4), 603-11.

Wright, B. A., Buonomano, D. V., Mahncke, H. W., & Merzenich, M. M. (1997). Learning and generalization of auditory temporal-interval discrimination in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience , 17 (10), 3956-3963.


Repository Staff Only: item control page