The Influence of Music and Music Familiarity on Time Perception

AbstractPrevious research has shown that secondary tasks sometimes interfere with the perception of time. In this study, we look at the impact of background music, and the familiarity of music on the reproduction of a time interval. We hypothesize that both music listening and attending to time require declarative memory access, and that conflicts between the two can explain why the reproduced intervals are longer when participants listen to music. A cognitive model based on the PRIMs architecture, but built from two existing models can explain the data, including the effect of music familiarity. The model is a combination of two existing models: one of time perception, which requires occasional memory access to check whether the interval is already over, and one of music perception, which tries to predict the next musical phrase based on the one currently perceived. The memory conflict between the two models reproduces the effects found in the data.

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