Moving along the mental time line influences the processing of future related words

Hartmann, Matthias; Mast, Fred W. (2012). Moving along the mental time line influences the processing of future related words. Consciousness and cognition, 21(3), pp. 1558-1562. Elsevier 10.1016/j.concog.2012.06.015

[img] Text
Hartmann12_moving along the mental time line.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (253kB) | Request a copy

Abstract concepts like numbers or time are thought to be represented in the more concrete domain of space and the sensorimotor system. For example, thinking of past or future events has a physical manifestation in backward or forward body sway, respectively. In the present study, we investigated the reverse effect: can passive whole-body motion influence the processing of temporal information? Participants were asked to categorize verbal stimuli to the concepts future or past while they were displaced forward and backward (Experiment 1), or upward and downward (Experiment 2). The results showed that future related verbal stimuli were categorized faster during forward as compared to backward motion. This finding supports the view that temporal events are represented along a mental time line and that the sensorimotor system is linked to that representation. We showed that body motion is not just an epiphenomenon of temporal thoughts. Passive whole-body motion can influence higher-order temporal cognition.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)

UniBE Contributor:

Maalouli-Hartmann, Matthias, Mast, Fred


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology








Matthias Maalouli-Hartmann

Date Deposited:

11 Apr 2014 13:49

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:24

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback