Modulating Human Subjective Time Experience

01 September 2021 → 31 August 2025
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Knowledge representation and reasoning
Other information
Project description

Although time can be measured objectively, human time perception is remarkably subjective and influenced by individual motivations, cognitive states, and social factors. In stressful conditions, we often experience a lack of time, whereas on more relaxing occasions we might lose track of time. On the basis of fundamental knowledge from psychology, ChronoPilot will develop a prototype technology to extend or compress human subjective time adaptively, whenever required. Using mixed reality technologies, people will be presented with visual, auditory, and haptic stimulation patterns that directly or indirectly influence their subjective time. We aim at a comprehensive understanding, through modeling of key parameters and the interplay of the different senses in subjective human time perception. Going beyond individual settings, ChronoPilot will also investigate how to coordinate time plasticity in collaborative settings where the actions of one group member affects the perception of the other members. The research will be validated in two scenarios (precision farming and industrial production), where humans alone or humans and robots have to collaborate in realistic and virtual environments. Such scenarios embed the research in our vision of a future man-machine society where robots have become additional stressors in our daily life that alter our time perception. The improved understanding of the psychology of time perception and the complementing technological means to modulate time will have a profound impact on both technology and society. Time will no longer constitute a passive, constant and immutable factor; instead, it will be a novel focal point around which future socio-technical approaches related to human-human and human-machine interaction revolve.

Role of Ghent University
Development of a computational model of time perception, integrating physiological and sensory data Development of a decision module that determines the timing, intensity and sensory channel of modulating stimuli to alter the subjective time experience Integration of the model in a consortium-wide prototype Evaluation of the model in two realistic environments