CE22 - Mobilité et systèmes urbains durables

Time in the Wild: Mastering time during real world navigation – WildTimes

Time in the Wild: mastering time during real-world navigation

WildTimes aims at an understanding of time perception during real-world navigation, and asks how the human brain navigates time during complex travels. With transportations, spatial distances become less relevant and the travel duration become a crucial commodity. Using a combination of real train travel situations, lab experiments, and virtual reality, WildTimes will inform perceived level of comfort during travel, and decision processes when choosing specific travel routes.

Empirical understanding of time perception during train travels.

Scientific Objective & Working Hypotheses 1: Distortions of subjective time perception as a function of the moments in real-time transportation. Our first objective will be dedicated to survey the un-/under-explored real-life experience of time distortions. <br />Scientific Objective & Working Hypotheses 2: Interferences and dissociations in the cognitive mapping of time and space during real-world navigation. The fact that space and time fully correlate during navigation is intuitive during natural bodily movements: for instance, the rate at which sensory information is encountered while walking through a scenery correlates with walking speed and traveled distance. However, during transport, this correlation is violated and the movement and pace of the user in the train can be fully uncorrelated with the actual train trajectory. This begs the question of how time may be represented in the individual’s brain when bodily and sensory cues are not as informative for the construction of perceived temporality. <br /><br />Scientific Objective 3 & Working Hypotheses 3: Time and space estimations in transport planning tools interactions. That time and space may be differently mapped during navigation will likely affect transport decision-making processes as users may confirm or disconfirm subjective estimations and elaborate alternative paths. <br />Scientific Objective & Working Hypotheses 4: Brain recordings during transportation vs. in the lab.

The perception of time in humans from the perceptual and neuroscientific viewpoint is mostly understood on the basis of studies conducted in the lab. Current advances in data collection tools and technologies now allow us to study comparable processes, and therefore validate and extend our knowledge of temporal cognition in real-life, here, during navigation. Second, cognitive maps for time and space have been widely considered separately, but little is still known regarding how both dimensions relate to each other in perception and interact with each other during real-time transportation. One contribution of this project will be to newly question the relationship between time perception and real-life navigation, and between time and space in navigation. It will therefore contribute to interrogate current theoretical frameworks and psychological models.
We use of complementary methodologies combining behavioral and neuroimaging techniques. We also exploit virtual reality, a very appropriate tool to investigate human navigation with sufficient experimental controls. In this respect, the project proposes some innovative experiments to study both time perception and the interaction of time and space in navigation.

Due to the sanitary crisis, we cannot firmly make conclusions on the ongoing protocols but are hopeful that 2021 will start bringing tangible outcomes.

Using a combination of real train travel situations, lab experiments, and virtual reality, WildTimes has four major objectives:
(1) Assessing duration perception during real-time transportation and developing new experimental paradigms suitable to this task;
(2) Assessing the relationship between the perception of time and space in real-time transportation and in virtual reality;
(3) Establish the relation between the representation of space and time as subjectively experienced by passengers whether during travels or during decision-making;
(4) Assess how network maps can benefit from incorporating travelers’ mental mapping of space and time independently of objective measures of spatial and durational properties.

Due to the sanitary crisis, we cannot firmly make conclusions on the ongoing protocols but are hopeful that 2021 will start bringing tangible outcomes.

Mastering Time: understanding passenger time perception in real travel conditions during complex railway journeys, S.Morgagni, G. Lemaitre, C. Guerin, B. Beirnaert, Y. Nedelec, W. Vallet, V. Gyselinck, V Van Wassenhove, 12th World Congress on Railway Research, Tokyo (28/10-01/11/2019)

Passenger path decision on complex transport networks, 3rd Transit Mapping Symposium, Paris (28/02-01/03) – S. Morgagni, SNCF

Table ronde « Les dessous des cartes (du Grand Paris), Biennale d’architecture de Versailles (15/06/2019) – S. Morgagni, SNCF

Le schéma de réseau entre carte et territoire, atelier étudiant « La carte du transport public du Grand Paris, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’arts Décoratifs (06/02/2019) – S. Morgagni, SNCF

Time, space and duration are intertwined concepts of our daily life, yet they have rarely been assessed together in real-life situations. The WildTimes project will initiate an ambitious line of research bridging temporal and spatial cognition in humans during real-world navigation, and pave the way towards understanding how the human brain maps time during complex travels. WildTimes will contribute to fundamental research by empirically contrasting theories of how the human brain represents time, and to practical applications with the conception and the optimization of novel tools to help individuals navigate transportation networks.

In this project, we will question how, nowadays, transportation technologies have affected our representation of time, and in turn, how our representation of time affects the transport mode or the itinerary we select. In our first objective, we wish to establish whether typical lab observations on temporal perception - and its illusions - sustain the test of real-life observations in ecological settings. We will elaborate and put to the test several experimental paradigms typically characterizing an individual’s perception of time, in the lab and during transportation.
In our second objective, we depart from the observation that with the advances of transport modes, our brain is confronted with discrepant information between the spatial distances that are being travelled, and the time it takes to travel them. For instance, if an average walking pace typically produces a spatial displacement of the self of 5 km (~3.1 miles) an hour, our current means of transportations largely increased the relativistic appreciation of distances with respect to time. In cognitive neuroscience, the notion of cognitive map is central for the spatial and temporal mapping of the environment: cognitive maps are a system of representations in the brain enabling an individual to infer its position in the environment. In our second objective, we will thus ask how time and space interact when not fully congruent with the bodily self.
In a third objective, we will build on our understanding of time perception and its interaction with space during transport to address how participants may choose particular itineraries in public transports, weight the subjective experience of time and space against veridical information and seek to perfect current means of informing users for better travel experiences. Transversal to all three goals, we will collect behavioral and non-invasive neuroimaging data to assess brain responses during timing tasks in the wild i.e. during public transport.

The WildTimes project will help address how the human brain represents time in real-world situations. By characterizing the impact of real-life transports on time perception, we will help understand subjective processes in decision-making for choosing between transport itineraries, in turn helping the elaboration of new tools to help navigation. Our project will thus open new empirical avenues to study time perception while providing novel insights and tools to help travelers in their transport choices.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.



Help of the ANR 610,685 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2019 - 48 Months

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