The time course of temporal preparation in an applied setting: A study of gaming behavior

Sander A. Los, Johan F. Hoorn, Merijn Grin, Erik Van der Burg

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the time course of temporal preparation in the practice of computer gaming. Participants held an infrared rifle to shoot animated figures ("terrorists") that appeared from an elevator that opened briefly after the sound of a bell. The sound was either loud or soft and the interval between the sound and the opening of the elevator varied between 100 and 600. ms. We found that shooting latency decreased exponentially as a function of interval, reflecting growing temporal preparation towards an optimum. When the sound was soft, this function was shifted to the right as compared to when the sound was loud. These findings are consistent with a model assuming that preparation starts upon the detection of a warning (i.e., later for the soft than for the loud sound) and continues until the detection of a target (i.e., longer as the interval increases). These results signify a successful application of a theoretical model in an applied setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • 2340 (Cognitive Processes)
  • Computer gaming
  • Temporal preparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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