Schedule of Events | Search Abstracts | Symposia | Invited Symposia | Poster Sessions | Data Blitz Sessions

Poster C15

Horror-evoked Arousal Predicts Biased Distance Estimations for Continuous Events

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

David F. Gregory1 (, Bailey C. Spangler1, Emily T. Cowan1, Vishnu P. Murty1; 1Temple University

Temporal memory is critical for survival. For example, to identify predictors of upcoming threats or the causal relationships between actions and harm necessitates the ability to understand not only what events came first, but also at what timescales these events occurred. As such, distance as a factor of perception may be influenced and guided by current arousal states which are impacted during encoding. Previous work from our group and others has shown that threat increases temporal order memory, but less research has examined its influence on estimations of temporal distance. Here, we investigated the influence of arousal and valence on a variety of short movie clips depicting threatening and neutral events extracted from horror movies, and tested a retroactive estimation of elapsed time (i.e., distance estimation) between two pairs of image stills drawn from the same clip. Our finding (n=168) that threat altered distance estimations for aversive (M = 1.96) compared to neutral clips (M = 2.01), t(167) = -2.3707, p = 0.0189, such that perceived elapsed time was compressed for the aversive clips. We also found on a clip-by-clip basis, arousal was a significant predictor of distance estimations, 𝜒2(1) = -2.3707, p = 0.01889, such that greater self-reports of arousal predicted compressed estimations of elapsed time. This research builds upon work that implies threat-related arousal during encoding may highlight the complex interplay between time perception and memory functions.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


CNS Account Login


April 13–16  |  2024