Mapping of individual time units in horizontal space

Malyshevskaya, A., Gallo, F., Scheepers, C. , Shtyrov, Y. and Myachykov, A. (2022) Mapping of individual time units in horizontal space. Language and Cognition, (doi: 10.1017/langcog.2022.35) (Early Online Publication)

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When we think and talk about time, we often refer to space. For example, we talk about past events as being “behind” us and future events as being “in front of” us, and on a horizontal time line, we tend to locate past events on the left and future events on the right. However, few studies focus on individual time units and there is no research that compares access to distinct time concepts within the same methodological framework. Here, we used words denoting time units (hours, days, months) with hypothesized left (e.g., Monday) and right (e.g., Saturday) semantic biases in a horizontal line bisection study. 54 adults listened to temporal words with the task of locating them on a line representing a time interval. Each processed word corresponded to one of the three conditions: left, right, or central position on the line. Results showed a facilitation effect in RT for congruent conditions (e.g., left semantic bias + left position of the line) for hour and day units. Processing of stimuli shifted responses in the corresponding direction for hour units (x-coordinates). Finally, congruent combination of visual and semantic biases led to a shift in manual responses in the corresponding direction for all time units. We conclude that while left-to-right mapping of time concepts is relatively universal, the horizontal mapping is stronger for hours, as compared to longer time units.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scheepers, Dr Christoph and Myachykov, Dr Andriy
Authors: Malyshevskaya, A., Gallo, F., Scheepers, C., Shtyrov, Y., and Myachykov, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Language and Cognition
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1866-9859
Published Online:07 December 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Language and Cognition 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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