The Editing Density of Moving Images Influences Viewers' Time Perception: The Mediating Role of Eye Movements

Stefania Balzarotti*, Federica Cavaletti, Adriano D'Aloia, Barbara Colombo, Elisa Cardani, Maria Rita Ciceri, Alessandro Antonietti, Ruggero Eugeni

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


The present study examined whether cinematographic editing density affects viewers' perception of time. As a second aim, based on embodied models that conceive time perception as strictly connected to the movement, we tested the hypothesis that the editing density of moving images also affects viewers' eye movements and that these later mediate the effect of editing density on viewers' temporal judgments. Seventy participants watched nine video clips edited by manipulating the number of cuts (slow- and fast-paced editing against a master shot, unedited condition). For each editing density, multiple video clips were created, representing three different kinds of routine actions. The participants' eye movements were recorded while watching the video, and the participants were asked to report duration judgments and subjective passage of time judgments after watching each clip. The results showed that participants subjectively perceived that time flew more while watching fast-paced edited videos than slow-paced or unedited videos; by contrast, concerning duration judgments, participants overestimated the duration of fast-paced videos compared to the master-shot videos. Both the slow- and the fast-paced editing generated shorter fixations than the master shot, and the fast-paced editing led to shorter fixations than the slow-paced editing. Finally, compared to the unedited condition, editing led to an overestimation of durations through increased eye mobility. These findings suggest that the editing density of moving images by increasing the number of cuts effectively altered viewers' experience of time and add further evidence to prior research showing that performed eye movement is associated with temporal judgments.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-23
Numero di pagine23
RivistaCognitive Science
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Editing
  • Eye movements
  • Moving images
  • Time perception


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