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Poster D54

The construction of complex narrative time

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Federica Procida1, Matteo Frisoni1, Annalisa Tosoni1,2, Carlo Sestieri1,2; 1Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy, 2Institute for Advanced Biomedical Technologies

The notion of narrative time is essential for understanding and remembering stories. Recent studies have shown that humans are remarkably accurate in judging the time of occurrence of videoclips extracted from a previously encoded movie. Here, we asked whether time-of-occurrence judgments provided through a visual analog scale can shed light on the gradual formation of a temporal representation of previously unseen narratives. To this aim, we asked different groups of subjects to repeat the time-of-occurrence task under different conditions of exposure to the movie content (cueing conditions). In a first "no-cueing" condition, participants were asked to place 80 2-sec videoclips extracted from a previously unseen 40m TV show ("24"). The task was repeated three times using the same video clips, and no increase in temporal precision was observed across repetitions. In a second "random-cueing" condition, task repetitions were interspersed with the passive viewing of 160 additional videoclips (cues) extracted from the movie, presented in temporally scrambled order. Again, performance did not significantly increase across task repetitions. A significant decrease in placement errors across repetitions was instead observed when the same cues were presented in chronological order ("chronological-cueing" condition) with the level of performance almost approaching that of a group of subjects that were previously exposed to the full movie ("movie" condition). In accordance with a general reconstructive account of long-term memory, these results suggest that the temporal information provided by sparse inputs can be exploited to gradually form a temporal scaffolding of the narrative, filling the gaps between encoded information.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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