Background: A recent meta-analysis left open a significant question regarding altered time perception in depression: Why do depressed people overproduce short durations and under-produce longer durations if their present experience is that time flows slowly? Experience and judgement of time do not seem to accord with one another. Analysis: By excluding two of the six studies on methodological grounds from a previous meta-analysis of medium-length interval productions, and re-analysing the remaining four studies, the present paper finds that subjective time accelerates from initial dilation within present experience (approximately 1 s duration) to subsequent acceleration within working memory (approximately 30 s duration) when depressed. Proposals: It is proposed that depressive time dilation and acceleration refer to the default mode and central executive networks, respectively. The acceleration effect is suggested to occur due to mood congruency between long intervals, boredom, and depression. This mood congruency leads to the automatic recall of intrusive, negative, and non-specific autobiographical long-term memories used to judge intervals from previous experience. Acceleration in working memory then occurs according to the contextual change model of duration estimation. Limitations: The meta-analysis is limited to four studies only, but provides a potential link between time experience and judgement within the same explanatory model. Conclusions: Similarities between psychological time dilation/acceleration and physical time dilation/acceleration are discussed.
Duration perception is not the same as perception duration. Time is an object of perception in its own right and is qualitatively different to exteroceptive or interoceptive perception of concrete objects or sensations originating within the self. In reviewing evidence for and against the experienced moment, White (2017, Psychol. Bull., 143, 735-756) proposed a model of global integration of information dense envelopes of integration. This is a valuable addition to the literature because it supposes that, like Tononi's (2004, BMC Neurosci., 5, 42) Integrated Information Theory, consciousness is an integral step above perception of objects or the self. Consciousness includes the perception of abstract contents such as time, space, and magnitude, as well as post-perceptual contents drawn from memory. The present review takes this logic a step further and sketches a potential neurobiological pathway through the salience, default mode, and central executive networks that culminates in a candidate model of how duration perception and consciousness arises. Global integration is viewed as a process of Bayesian Prediction Error Minimisation according to a model put forward by Hohwy, Paton and Palmer (2016, Phenomenol. Cogn. Sci., 15, 315-335) called 'distrusting the present'. The proposed model also expresses global integration as an intermediate stage between perception and memory that spans an approximate one second duration, an analogue of Wittmann's (2011, Front. Integr. Neurosci., 5, 66) experienced moment.