Reaction-time experiment with Hipp chronoscope (Wundt 1874)
Project (1999-2008)

Chronos and Psyche: The History of Physiological and Psychological Time Experiments

This project dealt with the emergence and development of reaction-time experiments in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The reaction-time experiment has a key importance for the history of psychology and the cognitive neurosciences: starting in the 1880s, reaction-time measurements were widely conducted in order to determine the temporal relations in the human brain and nervous system. These measurements generated a wide range of hypotheses on the anatomical structures and physiological functions involved in reaction processes and provoked sometimes far-reaching arguments about the nature of human consciousness, thought, and voluntary action.