Intentional control of event counting

Richard A. Carlson, Daniel N. Cassenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Event counting depends on simple, well-learned knowledge but is effortful and error-prone. In 6 experiments, the authors examined event-counting performance, testing a model that suggests that counting is controlled by minimal goal representations coordinated with perceptual events by temporal synchrony. In Experiment 1, they examined self-paced counting with or without delays that disrupted participants' preferred pacing. In subsequent experiments, participants counted computer-paced events occurring at rhythmic or varied intervals, reporting or verifying totals. Several results support the model: Participants counted rhythmic events more accurately, made undetected undercount errors when counting rhythmic events, and made false alarms to undercount or overcount probes presented at different times. These results suggest that intentions that guide fluent counting specify parameters deictically rather than semantically and that error monitoring is implicit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1251
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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