Effects of physical fitness and physical activity on the internal clock when estimating intervals of time

Rachel N. Waggoner, The College of Wooster


The internal clock mechanism is used in everyday situations from helping to process information within the brain to estimating intervals of time. Several different models such as the Scalar Expectancy Theory and Treisman's model sought out to examine the internal clock and how it functions, while Cortical Oscillations demonstrate how the internal clock helps to process different stages of information (e.g., sensory input and motor output). The current study examined the timing ability as a function of physical fitness. Due to the different theories presented, it was hypothesized that persons with a better fitness level would have a more accurate perception of interval timing than those who are not fit. Results however, showed the opposite. The data from the present study supported the second hypothesis that if the internal clock became more accurate after a period of exercise and the data did support this. This study helps to develop a better understanding of the internal clock due to exercise and its effect on interval timing.