Irene Petrizzo, Giovanni Anobile, Eleonora Chelli, Roberto Arrighi, David Charles Burr
Visual Duration but Not Numerosity Is Distorted While Running
Brain Sci 2022 Jan 5;12(1):81
There is increasing evidence that action and perception interact in the processing of magnitudes such as duration and numerosity. Sustained physical exercise (such as running or cycling) increases the apparent duration of visual stimuli presented during the activity. However, the effect of exercise on numerosity perception has not yet been investigated. Here, we asked participants to make either a temporal or a numerical judgment by comparing the duration or numerosity of standard stimuli displayed at rest with those presented while running. The results support previous reports in showing that physical activity significantly expands perceived duration; however, it had no effect on perceived numerosity. Furthermore, the distortions of the perceived durations vanished soon after the running session, making it unlikely that physiological factors such as heart rate underlie the temporal distortion. Taken together, these results suggest a domain-selective influence of the motor system on the perception of time, rather than a general effect on magnitude.