Circadian fluctuation of time perception in healthy human subjects

Kenichi Kuriyama, Makoto Uchiyama, Hiroyuki Suzuki, Hirokuni Tagaya, Akiko Ozaki, Sayaka Aritake, Yuichi Kamei, Toru Nishikawa, Kiyohisa Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies suggested that various psychophysiological factors have influences on human time perception. In particular, working memory loads, time of day, body temperature, and mood were known as important modifiers of time perception. The purpose of this study is to elucidate factors affecting the short-term time perception under controlled condition. Fourteen healthy young male adults participated in this study. Time perception sessions (TPS) were conducted 4 times at 0900, 1300, 1700 and 2100 h. The TPS consisted of five 10-s time production trials under five different conditions (control trial, those with reward, and 3 different dual-load working memory tasks). Subjective status was assessed using visual analogue scales (VAS). To verify a participant's vigilance state, an alpha attenuation coefficient (AAC) was calculated. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA for produced time revealed a significant main effect of session, but no effect of task or interaction. Although produced time was not correlated with AACs or VAS scores, there was a significant negative correlation between produced time and core body temperature. These results suggest that human short-term time perception may be more influenced by circadian rhythm than working memory load or psychophysiological status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroscience Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May 1


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Core body temperature
  • Interval timing clock
  • Mood
  • Time perception
  • Time production test
  • Working memory


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