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Title: Temporal binding in phenomenal causality
Author: Shiloh, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7973 0697
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2019
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The temporal binding effect was first reported by Haggard, Clark and Kalogeras (2002) as a shift in the perceived times of intentional actions and their effects toward one another, and the compression of the perceived interval between them. Research has since shown causal inferences to be necessary for temporal binding to occur (e.g., Buehner & Humphreys, 2009), with some suggesting that the effect results from the perception of causality alone (Buehner & Humphreys, 2009; Eagleman & Holcombe, 2002). Despite the importance of causality, the mechanisms by which it contributes to temporal binding have received little attention, with the perception of agency being the focus of most temporal binding research. In particular, the role of phenomenal causality has been almost entirely overlooked. Phenomenal causality refers to causal impressions formed visually (Michotte, 1964/63). To date, only one study had made use of visual stimuli giving rise to phenomenal causality to investigate temporal binding (Cravo, Claessens & Baldo, 2009) and no distinction between inferred and phenomenal causality had been made in theoretical accounts of the effect. This thesis aimed to investigate temporal binding in phenomenal causality with the use of visual stimuli novel to temporal binding research. In experiments 1-6 (Chapter 3) participants provided causal impressions and temporal judgements in response to these stimuli. These experiments found no clear effect of phenomenal causality on the perceived delay intervals between perceived causes and effects. Contrary to the predictions of most accounts of temporal binding, experiment 6 found no evidence for temporal binding in phenomenal causality when intentional actions were present. Experiments 7 and 8 (Chapter 4) investigated temporal binding in inferred causality to test for the possible role of non-causal perceptual influences on the findings of experiments 1-6, such as predictability and the use of visual stimuli. No evidence was found for several such alternative explanations. While alternative explanations cannot be entirely ruled out, the findings presented here suggest that temporal binding does not necessarily occur due to phenomenal causality in the stimuli used in experiments 1-6. Future research using a greater variety of stimuli may confirm whether this is general to phenomenal causality or specific to certain stimuli or types of visual causal impressions. The findings of experiments 1-6 were not predicted by existing theoretical accounts of temporal binding, suggesting amendments to these accounts are required.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology