System Organization of Behavior, Connected with the Voluntary and Involuntary Assessment of Time Intervals of Various Duration



The present work is devoted to the analysis of electrical brain potentials related to reporting actions in sensory-motor task selection, where subjects were arbitrary or involuntarily estimated time between the presentation of the warning and start signals (PRS and PUS). In the pilot study on a computer screen with equal probability and randomly to two groups of subjects were presented two alternative signal of PUS – in the form of one and the same bright vertical stripes on a dark screen, but differing in time of appearance after the ORS (700 and 950 ms). The subjects of group 1 with the presentation of any alternative signal (PUS), pressing the same key, the difference in time between the presentation of the PRS and PUS they were not reported. Subjects of group 2 were informed about the difference between these time intervals, and they had to click on different keys as soon as possible, depending on the duration of the time interval between the PRS and PUS. It is shown that the duration of intervals between the warning and start signals influenced the response time as in group 1 and in group 2. It is observed changes in the characteristics of the negative wave (CNV) in group 2, developing the interval between the PRS and PUS, depending on changes in this interval. Found differences are interpreted on the basis of the assumption of the existence of different «levels» of evaluation of action results provided by different brain mechanisms.

General Information

Keywords: time, consciousness, system, EEG

Journal rubric: Psychophysiology

For citation: Bezdenezhnyh B.N., Medyntsev A.A., Alexandrov Y.I. System Organization of Behavior, Connected with the Voluntary and Involuntary Assessment of Time Intervals of Various Duration. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2009. Vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 5–18. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Boris N. Bezdenezhnyh, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Psychophysiology Named After V.B. Shvyrkov, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Alexey A. Medyntsev, PhD in Psychology, Junior Research Associate, Institute of Psychology RAS, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Yuri I. Alexandrov, Doctor of Psychology, Head the Laboratory of the Institute of Psychology RAS and Head. the Department of Psychophysiology State University of Humanitarian Sciences, Institute of Psychology Russian Academy of Science, head Laboratory of Neurocognitive Research of Individual Experience, Moscow State Psychological and Pedagogical University (FSBEI HE MGPPU), Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Education. Member of the editorial board of the scientific journal "Experimental Psychology", Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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