Time for another news round up. There has been lot's happening from the lab recently. Firstly a couple of key publications of ours have come out. The first of these is a major output from our three year ESRC funded investigation into time perception in autism. You can find the paper here. In this paper we report the results from a wide range of psychophysical tasks that explored timing and time perception across a whole spectrum of abilities. In short we found no significant difference between the performance of adults with autism and our nonautisic participants. That is not to say that people with autism do not report problems ‘with time’, but these problems appear to be to do with higher order concepts of time, planning, and time management. We have captured some of these problems in our large survey of parents of children with autism which you can find here.
Our second recent publication is a paper on the work of the late great Warren Meck who sadly passed away in January 2020. In this paper we explore Meck’s early work on temporal reference memory (the long term memory store for duration) and track some of the later developments. This aspect of Warren’s work is often overlooked by modern time perception researchers so it gave us great pleasure to bring it to the fore again.
On a personal level I (Luke Jones) followed on from Meck’s work when researching for my own PhD which was on temporal reference memory, so at the time I read pretty much everything he had published. Years later I met him at several conferences and I found him to be incredibly passionate about the subject and very encouraging and interested in other people’s ideas. He was a very generous and friendly soul, we hung out together at a rather odd conference in Vienna one year, he was on before me and joked that he was the warm act for me. He was also amused that I enjoyed looking around the Necropolis in Vienna, when I showed him some photos of some of the statues I had taken he exclaimed to the room “Look, Luke has thing for dead chicks!” He was a colossus in the field and is missed by all who worked with or met him.
Lastly we attended the EPS workshop organised by Dr Ruth Ogden at Liverpool John Moores University. The topic of the workshop was 'Understanding real-world distortions to time: Who, What, Why and When? This was a small group focussed workshop and there were a range of fascinating presentations by Ruth, Dr Joanna Witowska, Prof Chris Hoerl and Prof Teresa McCormack, Prof Marc Wittmann, myself (Dr Luke Jones), Dr Daniel Poole, Prof Sylvie Droit-Volet, and finally Prof John Wearden. It was an excellent meeting and we are working on a joint publication on the topic of passage of time judgements. Many thanks to Ruth for organising it.
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