Perception and cognition of time in elderly patients (review of foreign studies)



The process of cognition and perception of time in the elderly (55-75 years) and old (75-90 years) people was always a matter of interest for gerontologists and psychologists looking for the answer to the question why in old age time flows very quickly on one hand and very slowly on the other hand. Studies show that the ability to adequately perceive and prioritize its activities in time in elderly patients depends on the physical, intellectual and social activity, and other factors that determine the quality of life and promote productive aging. The purpose of this article is to familiarize professionals with notions of perception and cognition of time, as well as paradigms of time perception studies in psychology. The article also familiarizes the readers with foreign research aspects of time cognition, i.e, orientation in time, perception of time intervals, time perspective, and mental journey of elderly patients through time

General Information

Keywords: time, time perception, cognition of time, old age, subjective wellbeing

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology and Age-Related Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Melehin A. Perception and cognition of time in elderly patients (review of foreign studies) [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2015. Vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 11–19. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2015040202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Bushov Yu.V. Sistemnye mekhanizmy vospriyatiya vremeni [System mechanisms of time perception]. Tomsk: Izdatel'stvo Tomskogo Universiteta, 2006. 422 p. (In Russ.).
  2. Zinchenko V.P. Vremya deistvuyushchee litso [Time actor]. Voprosy psikhologii, 2005, no. 4, pp. 63–75. (In Russ., Abstr. in Engl.).
  3. Melekhin A.I. Sovremennye kognitivnye modeli vospriyatiya vremeni [Modern cognitive models of time perception]. Rossiiskii nauchnyi zhurnal, 2003. T. 36, no. 6, pp. 240–253. (In Russ.).
  4. Allman M.J. Pathophysiological distortions in time perception and timed performance. A journal of neurology, 2012, no. 1, pp. 38–44. doi: 10.1093/brain/awr210.
  5. Baum S., Boxley R. Time perception and psychological well-being in the elderly. Psychiatric Quarterly, 1984, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 54–61. doi: 10.1007/BF01324632.
  6. Block R.A., Zakay D. Human aging and duration judgments: A meta-analytic review. Psychology and Aging, 1998, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 584–596. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.13.4.584.
  7. Block R.A., Zakay D. Retrospective and prospective timing: Memory, attention, and consciousness / C. Hoerl, T. Mccormack (Eds.). Time and memory: Issues in philosophy and psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 59–76.
  8. Brotchie J., Brenna J. Temporal Orientation in the Pre-Senium and Old Age. British Journal of Psychiatry,1985, vol. 147, no. 6, pp. 692–695. doi: 10.1192/bjp.147.6.692.
  9. Carrasco M.С. Estimation of short temporal intervals in Alzheimer's disease. Experimental Aging Research, 2000, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 139–151. doi: 10.1080/036107300243605.
  10. Craik F., Hay J.F. Aging and judgments of duration: Effects of task complexity and method of estimation. Perception and Psychophysics, 1999, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 549–560. doi: 10.3758/BF03211972.
  11. El Haj М. Prospective and retrospective time perception are related to mental time travel: Evidence from Alzheimer’s disease. Brain and Cognition, 2013, vol. 83, no. 1, pp. 45–51. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2013.06.008.
  12. Friedman W.J., Janssen S. Aging and the speed of time. Acta Psychologica, 2010, vol. 134, no. 2, pp. 130–141. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.01.004.
  13. Iwamoto Y. Time orientation and orientation in the elderly persons. Occupational Therapy International, 2011, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 194–200. doi: 10.1002/oti.322.
  14. Jobst K.A. Time, perception and the aging mind: the National Alzheimer's Project Act 2011 enacted is this the beginning of a new era in health care research? Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2011, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-2. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0020.
  15. Junqueira A. Time orientation and executive functions in the prediction of mortality in the elderly: Epidoso study. Rev Saúde Pública, 2010, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 2–10. doi: 10.1590/S0034-89102010000100016.
  16. Maniadakis M., Trahanias P. Time models and cognitive processes: a review. Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 2014, vol. 8, art. 7, pp. 1–6. doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2014.00007.
  17. McСormack T., Brown G. Effects of Aging on Absolute Identification of Duration. Psychology and Aging, 2002, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 363–378. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.17.3.363.
  18. Meck W.H. Neuropsychology of timing and time perception. Brain and Cognition, 2005, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 211–219. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2004.09.004.
  19. Singh T. Study of Time Orientation and Wellbeing in Old Age. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, 2015, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 34–41.
  20. Szymaszek A. Individual differences in the perception of temporal order: The effect of age and cognition. Сognitive neuropsychology, 2009, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 135–147. doi: 10.1080/02643290802504742.
  21. Wearden J.H. Applying the scalar timing model to human time psychology: Progress and challenges. H. Helfrich (Ed.). Time and Mind II: Information-processing perspectives Gottingen: Hogrefe & Huber, 2003, pp. 21–39.
  22. Wearden J.H. The wrong tree: time perception and time experience in the elderly // Measuring the Mind: Speed, control, and age / J. Duncan, L. Phillips (Eds) New York: Oxford Scholarship Online, 2005, pp. 137–160.
  23. Wittmann M., Lehnhoff S. Age effects in perception of time. Psychological Reports, 2005, vol. 97, no. 3, pp. 921–935. doi: 10.2466/pr0.97.3.921-935.
  24. Zakay D. Subjective time and attentional resource allocation: An integrated model of time estimation. I. Levin, D. Zakay (Eds.). Time and human cognition: A lifespan perspective. Amsterdam: North Holland, 1989. pp. 365–397.
  25. Zakay D. Temporal Cognition. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1997, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 37–54. doi: 10.1111/1467-8721.ep11512604.

Information About the Authors

Aleksey Melehin, PhD in Psychology, Associate professor, Stolypin Humanitarian Institute, clinical psychologist of the highest qualification category, somnologist, cognitive behavioral psychotherapist, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 3684
Previous month: 25
Current month: 36


Total: 3050
Previous month: 13
Current month: 12