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.
Hi All, and a belated Happy New Year!
Graduating Time Lab Members
It has been too many months since our last update, like most labs and academics we have been flying by the seat of our pants for the last two years. Through all of the difficulties one of the saddest has been the lack of opportunity to celebrate the success of our students, as all our graduations have been cancelled. On that front I would like to start our news round up by extending our congratulations to Dr Martin Casassus who submitted his thesis and successfully passed his PhD viva exam last year. Martin's work was examining time perception in people with autism. We would like to thank Dr Catherine Jones (University of Cardiff) and Dr Jason Taylor (University of Manchester) for serving as Martin's external and internal examiners. The viva was conducted on zoom, and sadly there was no opportunity for celebratory drinks afterwards. although Martin and I (Luke) did manage to stay within the Covid rules at the time and have a few beers in the rain in my garden!
Martin is now working as a lecturer and researcher at the Universidad Autónoma in Chile. We will miss Martin, but are still working together publishing the remaining work from his thesis and we hope to work on new projects together in the future.
In other news we would also like to congratulate Ms Georgia Dunning who completed her masters' project in our lab. Georgia graduated with a distinction and top of her class. She has recently published her first paper on her experience during her placement in the neuropsychology department at Salford Royal Hospital. You can read her paper here.
New Time Lab Publications
On the paper front, publications from our 3-year ESRC funded project on timing in autism are now starting to come out. The following are available or in press and we have more in the pipeline:
Poole, D., Gowen, E., Poliakoff, E., & Jones, L. A. (2021). ‘No idea of time’: Parents report differences in autistic children’s behaviour relating to time in a mixed-methods study. Autism, 13623613211010014.
Poole, D., Casassus, M., Gowen, E., Poliakoff, E., & Jones, L. A. (in press). Time perception in autistic adults: Duration and relative timing judgements do not differ from non-autistics. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
Dr Luke Jones was interviewed for USA today and the Courier Journal about how the perception of time has been altered by Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns and social restrictions. You can read the article here.
That's it for now, hopefully we will get back to more regular updates this year. Take care everyone.
We are very excited for our upcoming webinar about time and autism, which will include reporting some of the results from our 3 year ESRC funded investigation of the subject. You can find all the details on this page of our website. Anyone is welcome to come and join us. The whole event will be broadcast on youtube live here. We are particularly interested in your questions, comments and experiences, and what questions about time we might be missing.
Hope to see you there!
Hello to all our readers, just a quick post to update on what has been happening since our last update in January. Obviously a lot of time has been taken up with lecture recording and moving testing to online. In fact the online testing although not suitable for every experiment is proving to be a very efficient and powerful way of collecting data, and so far the data seems to be just as orderly...or disorderly!
On the paper front the first of several that we have 'in press' has been published. We have an article in Timing and Time Perception on the the judgements of auditory and visual stimuli. In this paper we review the overall state of play of studies in this area, and draw some conclusions about which of the widely reported effects seem to be consistent and which do not. (Wearden, J. H., & Jones, L. A. (2021). Judgements of the Duration of Auditory and Visual Stimuli. Timing & Time Perception, 9(2), 199-224.)
I (Luke Jones) gave an interview to the BBC on time in lockdown which was broadcast as part of the 'Unusual Times' podcast. You can listen to the episode here.
Lastly our lab's 3rd year students have conducted a facinating experiment comparing the timing of visual and auditory stimuli in both retrospective and prospective timing conditions. This is a highly novel experiment and the data are looking interesting so watch this space!
That's all for now, hope you are all keeping safe.
Happy New Year!
Welcome to what seems like the longest January in history. Indeed I (Luke) have given several media interviews discussing the distortion of time during lockdown. You can read my interview with Vice magazine here.
It has been six months since our last update. In that time we have been working 100% from home and currently still are. Despite the vaccination roll out we don't anticipate being back on campus until at the least the summer. Along with most reseach labs we have had to move our testing online, and combined with recording all our lecture content it has been a demanding time. You can find the videos for our 3rd year course on time perception on our new youtube channel here.
On the pubications front we have one new paper out on the judgement of auditory and visual stimuli and how they differ (and how they maybe more similiar in someways than has been supposed). The paper is open access and can be found here. We have several other exciting papers under review or revision which we will hopefully be able to report on soon.
In October we were pleased to welcome a new member to our lab. Georgia Dunning has joined us as a master student and is going to be examining motor timing in people with autism. You can find details about Georgia's background here.
Lastly we were sad to say goodbye to our visiting intern Joanna Witowska. Joanna joined us last March on a six month funded internship. Through pure bad luck she arrived two weeks before the first national lockdown. The intended project working on time in virtual reality had to be cancelled. Instead Joanna has been involved in some work looking at the relationship between time and music (part of our ongoing collaboration with the Royal Northern College of Music). I'm pleased to report that Joanna recently passed her PhD defence upon her return to Poland. Congratualtions DR Joanna Witowska!
Till our next update I hope you are all staying safe and looking after each other.
Firstly I hope that all the students, staff and visitors to our website are healthy and well. Obviously people have and/or are going through difficult times with Covid virus, lockdown and all the assocaited chaos, disruption and stress.
Our lab (and the University) were closed down very rapidly a week before the UK lockdown, so for the last three months we have been unable to collect any data. The Lab and the majority of University buildings will be remaining closed until the autmn at the very earliest and probably into the new year. Luckily our 3rd year projects students had just finished collecting their data, and the large data set for our study on timing in autism has also just finished, so we have plenty of data to be getting on with. Here are a few things that have happened either just before the lockdown or since.
In late January we were very saddened to hear the news that Prof Warren Meck had passed away. Warren was one of the original architects of Scalar Expectancy Theory which was the birth of modern internal clock theory. I (Luke) had the pleasure of meeting and hangining out with him a couple of times, and when more time has passed I will post a blog about him and his work. My PhD was based on his work on Temporal Reference Memory, so his passing is an emotional hit on several levels. Our thoughts go out to his wife, family and all the academics who had the pleasure to work with him. He was a warm and generous man with boundless passion for the subject. He is and will be missed.
On Sunday 23rd February Dr Luke Jones was interviewed live on the Naked Scientists Podcast, broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Cambridge. Luke answered questions about how the human experience of time passing changes as we age in different social situations. You can hear the whole program again here:
During lockdown we have had two journal papers accepted for publication. The first is an investigation into the effect of repetitive stimulation (click-trains) on temporal order judgements. This project was lead by our postdoctoral reseacher Dr Dan Poole, and involved the work of one of our 3rd year project students Kyle Lees. So special congratulations to Kyle on his first published paper. The paper is open access and can be downloaded here.
The second journal paper is a collaboration between our lab and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). This was a study of the factors that determine the perception of segmentation in music. Our lab is increasingly involved with the fusion of time and music psychology research, and we have other works in the pipeline with RNCM. Again the paper is open access and can be downloaded here.
Lastly and by no means least our PhD student Martin Cassasus passed his viva-voca examination this week. Huge congratulations to him, and a big thanks to his examiners Dr Jason Taylor (internal) and Dr Catherine Jones (Cardiff University).
Stay safe and look after each other.
January 8-10 2020 saw the Experimental Psychology Society conference at University College London. The society meets three times a year at various locations, but the January meeting is always held in London. Martin Casassus our PhD student presented an oral paper on his work on timing in autism covering both low level perceptual timing and higher order timing processes. Giving an EPS talk has become a right of passage for any experimental psychologist and Martin gave an excellent talk. You can find the abstract for the talk here.
Dr Luke Jones was an invited member on a round table panel at the 55th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association. The conference was held at the Royal Northern College of Music, 11-13th September 2019. The theme of the session was Music and Time Psychology: Philosophy and Practise.
The panel was chaired by Dr Michelle Phillips (RNCM), and the other panel members were Abigail Conner (Philosophy, University of Manchester), Dr Lauren Redhead (Musicology, Goldsmiths University, London), Dr Matthew Sergeant (Composer and Lecturer, Bath Spa University, UK), Dr Joel Smith (Philosophy, University of Manchester).
Each panel member was asked to reflect on the topics of memory, duration, the present, subjective and objective, before opening to questions from the audience. The members of the panel are currently working on a book titled Music and Time: Psychology, Philosophy and Practice, to be published by Boydell & Brewer.
The second semester of 2019 turned out to be a hectic one, and we haven't updated our news on here for a while, so here's a catch up of a few things.
In February our PhD student Emily Williams passed her viva voca and became Dr Emily Williams. Emily's graduation was in July and it was a lovely day, the photo below shows Emily with her two supervisors Dr Luke Jones (me) and Dr Andrew Stewart. It was a really proud day, but also tinged with sadness, Emily as been such a major force not only in our lab but in our school, and it has been a five year journey from supervising her 3rd year undergraduate project, master's dissertation (MRes), through to the challenges of securing her PhD funding. We are still working on papers together, and Emily will always be part of our lab. Thanks for everything Emily, you made the University a better place to work in.
In April the University of Manchester hosted the spring meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society. Our lab was well represented with Emily giving her first EPS oral presentation (on our work on temporal difference thresholds and repetitive stimulation) and also a poster (on repetitive stimulation and physiological arousal).
In non-Emily news... the first paper from our 3 year ESRC funded project on timing and autism is now out. This paper like the project is a collaboration between the time lab and autism research at Manchester, and it also forms part of the thesis of our PhD student Martin Casassus. The paper is a systematic review of timing studies in autism, a link to the online (open access) version of the paper is HERE. The main takeaway message is that although problems with 'time' are commonly reported by people with autism (or their friends and family), exactly what kind of timing this relates to is unclear, and in the literature any significant deficits in fundamental stimulus timing have yet to be proven, the evidence for deficits in more complex timing tasks is somewhat stronger. Addressing these issues is the purpose of our ESRC project, and we will have empirical papers on this coming out over the next year.
Now the summer is here our main activities are paper writing, but we will soon have the first batch of data from our large scale study of performance on various timing taks by people with autism, which is very exciting! Our planned analyses have all been pre-registered and we are aiming for a gold standard in open science practices relating to this (and all) outputs from our lab.
Lastly we end on a rather sad note, recently Dr Don O'Boyle passed away from a long illness. Don was a lecturer in the psychology department here up until 2003, he had a keen interest in timing research (especially in relation to Parkinson's Disease) and was a co-supervisor of my (Luke Jones) PhD. Don was a true scientist, scholar and a generous mentor. Don showed me a lot of kindness and patience when I first came to Manchester and had not a clue what I was doing! Rest in peace Don, our love goes out to his friends and family.
Emily Williams our PhD student passed her viva (oral exam) on her thesis on the 18th January!
Emily's external examiner was Dr William Skylark from Cambridge University (https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/people/william-j-matthews) and her internal examiner was Dr Jason Taylor (https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/jason.taylor.html). We are very grateful for both of them taking the time and effort to do this role.
According to the examiners' report Emily performed brilliantly in her viva and the examiners were so interested in her work that the exam went on for nearly 3 hours (which caused some stress to her supervisor pacing the corridor outside - i.e. me! - Luke Jones).
Emily will graduate in July this year which we are looking forward to. Emily is already working in a postdoctoral research position in Leeds (see below for her blog post about it).
Thank you to everyone who gave help and support to Emily during her PhD, and especially to Dr Andrew Stewart who was her co-supervisor along with myself.
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