Abstracts and authors of the 8th International Conference on Spatial Cognition: Cognition and Action in a Plurality of Spaces (ICSC 2021)
Access to time words engage a complex spatial mapping where individual concepts are represented along horizontal, vertical, and sagittal axes. However, most existing studies demonstrate spatial biases in individual time units (i.e., months, days of the week, or hours of the day) using different experimental tasks and paradigms while few studies attempt to compare access to the distinct time concepts within a single study by using a uniform and comparable experimental protocol. Here, we used time units (days, months, hours) with hypothesized left (e.g., Monday) and right (e.g., Saturday) spatial biases in a horizontal line bisection study. We investigated whether horizontal time flow is perceived uniformly across different mea- surement units. Fifty-seven native Russian speakers (37 females, age 21.5 ± 4.1 years) listened to time words before using mouse cursor to indicate where that unit may be located on a horizontal line with extreme points biasing left, right, or central positioning of the pro- cessed word. Task-related reaction times (RTs) and response coordinates were recorded and analyzed using ANOVAs. Our anal- yses revealed (1) direction-congruent shift in participants’ responses (x-coordinates, mouse endpoint) as well as (2) faster RTs in congruent conditions (e.g., left semantic bias ? left position) for all time units. However, a reliable main effect of Unit Type indicated that RTs were graded in the following order: hours \ days \ months. We conclude that while left-to-right mapping of time concepts is relatively uni- versal, the horizontal mapping is stronger for hours and days of the week, as compared to months.