We have some very exciting and welcome news this month that we have been awarded a three year grant by the ESRC to investigate timing processes and behaviour in autism. The grant brings together the expertise of our Time Perception Lab, the BEAM Lab and the Manchester Autism Research Group. The project will investigate timing processes from fundamental perceptual time discrimination through to higher order concepts of time and temporality. Our lab member Dr Dan Poole will be the postdoctoral researcher on this thrilling project.
Last night we attended the Sound and Music late event at the Museum of Science and Industry. The event was a great success and was sold out with over 450 people attending.
Dr Michelle Phillips (RNCM) and I (Dr Luke Jones) both gave a talk, along with Peter Saville (founder of Factory Records). We ran two experiments, one examining how the nature of different types of music affect people's perception of duration (people listened to different versions of a unique piece of music that we had commissioned and estimated their durations) , the other experiment examined people's mental imagery for time, we asked people to draw their mental representation of a year, a month, a day and and week. We gave out business cards advertising the lab, and will be posting the results on here in a few weeks time for people to see.
It was really valuable to collect data from a wider population than just undergraduate students, and was a great opportunity to chat to the public and promote our time perception lab, research at the Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology and the University of Manchester in general.
On Wednesday 15th March 2017 we will be contributing to an evening public engagement event at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester. Full details of the event (which includes a talk by founder of Factory Records, Peter Saville and a silent disco) can be found here. Our lab director Dr Luke Jones and our research collaborator Dr Michelle Phillips from the Royal Northern College of Music will be giving a talk, and running two experiments. One experiment will explore how certain parameters of a piece of music affects people perception of its durations. The second experiment will examine people's mental imagery for days, week and months of the year. We will not disclose too many details at this point, but will publish a full report on this blog after the event.
We now have a great new logo for the Time Lab, designed by our PhD student Emily Williams, so we ordered business cards and also a mug and a pen to test out the new design, and we are very pleased with the way they have turned out. The hexagonal design is a homage to the Bee, which is a symbol of Manchester and its industrial past, the colours are from the University of Manchester, and the clock hands explain themselves. Thanks Emily!
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our followers from all of the members of the Manchester Time Lab! 2016 was a very busy and successful year for the lab, we began a new collaboration with the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music), presented research at the Experimental Psychology Conference in Oxford, the Philosophy conference in Manchester, the Rock and Body conference at the University of Exeter, and gained two new master's students and a PhD student in September. The next event in our calendar is the upcoming EPS workshop on time perception being held at the University of Liverpool next week.
Just before the Christmas break we had our lab Christmas meal, which was lots of fun (photo below). Here's to an exciting and productive 2017!
Rock/Body is an AHRC funded project bringing together researchers from the humanities, social sciences, health and earth sciences alongside artists to investigate mankind's relationship to geology. There have been a series of meetings, and our lab director Dr Luke Jones (me) was invited to attend the meeting dedicated to Time and Duration.
The aim of the meeting was to explore the ways in which humans are able (or unable) to grasp geological or cosmological time frames; sometimes termed 'deep time' This is important for a variety of different preseasons, including policy making, for example being able to think about climate change evidence and plan accordingly or dealing with dwindling raw material resources, or planing for future advances in technology such as AI. It is also important for the communication of science, in terms of teaching about the formation of the universe, birth of stars, formation of planets, and to understand the processes of evolution.
There were talks and performances from a very wide range of people; geologists, writers, dancers, anthropologists, conceptual artists, museum directors, art directors, and from our lab a psychologist (Luke/me). You can read more about the meeting and the speakers here: Rock/Body
It was a pleasure to be invited to attend, these meetings where science and art are brought together are a really useful cross-platform for sharing ideas, and most importantly finding new questions and points of view. My talk was on the human perception of time, the processes by which it works and how these may be applied (or mis-applied) to the way people think about deep time.
A workshop on time perception funded by the Experimental Psychology Society will be held at Liverpool John Moore's University on 19th January 2017. Details of how to submit abstract or apply for attendance can be found here (attendance is free but registration is necessary). Our lab will be represented, and the conference is being organised by one of our collaborators Dr Ruth Ogden.
Back to the rain of Manchester after a sunny time in Oxford. It was a busy conference as it was a joint meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society and SEPEX (Spanish Experimental Psychology Society). The meeting was held at St Anne's college with up to three parallel session at any one time. The lab was represented by me (Dr Luke Jones) and PhD student Emily Williams. We attended a particularly interesting talk by Gabriela E López-Tolsa (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain) on the adjunctive behaviour and performance of rats in a temporal bisection task. Emily's poster presentation (see photo) was very well received and gathered a good deal of interest, including from one researcher who turned out to be Dr Peter Naish (co-author of some very famous timing papers with Michel Treisman, as well as his own famous work on hypnosis). Many thanks to the conference organisers and to the EPS itself for awarding Emily a Grindley Grant to attend.
This weekend our lab is being represented at the Experimental Psychology Conference, being held at St Annes's College, University of Oxford. Our PhD student Emily Williams will be giving a poster presentation on her Masters and PhD work, exploring the pacemaker component of the SET system. It is Emily's first presentation at the EPS, quite a milestone in any experimental psychologist's career.
On 13th June 2016 a conference on the philosophy and psychology of time was convened at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Manchester. Speakers included Dr Luke Jones from our lab. It was a fascinating blend of talks, and very informative on both sides as to how philosophy and psychology approach the human experience of time. This seems to be part of an exciting and increasing trend of collaboration between philosophers of time and time perception psychologists.
Many thanks to the Philosophy department for organising this conference. The full program of talks was as follows:
Dr Luke Jones (University of Manchester): 'The Perception and Psychology of Time: An Overview'
Ms Abigail Connor (University of Manchester): ‘Measuring Phenomenal Duration’
Prof Julian Kiverstein (University of Amsterdam): ‘Is the Experience of Now a Neural Construct?’
Prof Barry Danton (University of Liverpool): ‘Extensionalism: variations and challenges’
Prof John Wearden (Keele University): ‘Some Philosophical Problems About Time Perception: how psychology might help’
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