Article

A Psychophysical Investigation of Differences between Synchrony and Temporal Order Judgments

School of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 01/2013; 8(1):e54798. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054798
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Synchrony judgments involve deciding whether cues to an event are in synch or out of synch, while temporal order judgments involve deciding which of the cues came first. When the cues come from different sensory modalities these judgments can be used to investigate multisensory integration in the temporal domain. However, evidence indicates that that these two tasks should not be used interchangeably as it is unlikely that they measure the same perceptual mechanism. The current experiment further explores this issue across a variety of different audiovisual stimulus types.
Participants were presented with 5 audiovisual stimulus types, each at 11 parametrically manipulated levels of cue asynchrony. During separate blocks, participants had to make synchrony judgments or temporal order judgments. For some stimulus types many participants were unable to successfully make temporal order judgments, but they were able to make synchrony judgments. The mean points of subjective simultaneity for synchrony judgments were all video-leading, while those for temporal order judgments were all audio-leading. In the within participants analyses no correlation was found across the two tasks for either the point of subjective simultaneity or the temporal integration window.
Stimulus type influenced how the two tasks differed; nevertheless, consistent differences were found between the two tasks regardless of stimulus type. Therefore, in line with previous work, we conclude that synchrony and temporal order judgments are supported by different perceptual mechanisms and should not be interpreted as being representative of the same perceptual process.

1 Follower
 · 
99 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous research provides conflicting evidence regarding whether older adults have altered tolerance to timing differences between auditory and visual events. We examine the potential impact of age-related unisensory decline on audiovisual synchrony perception. Fifteen younger (21-32 years) and 13 older (60-72 years) adults participated. To assess unisensory sensitivity, visual Gabor contrast detection thresholds and auditory masked tone pip detection thresholds were measured. Four multisensory conditions were then tested: suprathreshold and near-threshold stimuli (based on individual unisensory psychometric functions), each tested with a masked tone pip stimuli at 0.5 and 4 kHz sound frequencies. Two audiovisual pairs (one synchronous, the other asynchronous) were presented in a two-interval forced-choice procedure, with observers identifying the interval containing the asynchronous stimulus. Older adults required a larger physical asynchrony to perceive the stimuli as asynchronous, particularly for low frequency sounds. Our results demonstrate that the impact of age on audiovisual synchrony perception cannot be explained by decline in unisensory sensitivity alone.
    Journal of Vision 09/2014; 14(11). DOI:10.1167/14.11.13 · 2.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Perceived synchrony of visual and auditory signals can be altered by exposure to a stream of temporally offset stimulus pairs. Previous literature suggests that adapting to audiovisual temporal offsets is an important recalibration to correctly combine audiovisual stimuli into a single percept across a range of source distances. Healthy aging results in synchrony perception over a wider range of temporally offset visual and auditory signals, independent of age-related unisensory declines in vision and hearing sensitivities. However, the impact of aging on audiovisual recalibration is unknown. Audiovisual synchrony perception for sound-lead and sound-lag stimuli was measured for 15 younger (22-32 years old) and 15 older (64-74 years old) healthy adults using a method-of-constant-stimuli, after adapting to a stream of visual and auditory pairs. The adaptation pairs were either synchronous or asynchronous (sound-lag of 230 ms). The adaptation effect for each observer was computed as the shift in the mean of the individually fitted psychometric functions after adapting to asynchrony. Post-adaptation to synchrony, the younger and older observers had average window widths (±standard deviation) of 326 (±80) and 448 (±105) ms, respectively. There was no adaptation effect for sound-lead pairs. Both the younger and older observers, however, perceived more sound-lag pairs as synchronous. The magnitude of the adaptation effect in the older observers was not correlated with how often they saw the adapting sound-lag stimuli as asynchronous. Our finding demonstrates that audiovisual synchrony perception adapts less with advancing age.
    Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 08/2014; 6(10):226. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00226 · 2.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The effect of stimulation history on the perception of a current event can yield two opposite effects, namely: adaptation or hysteresis. The perception of the current event thus goes in the opposite or in the same direction as prior stimulation, respectively. In audiovisual (AV) synchrony perception, adaptation effects have primarily been reported. Here, we tested if perceptual hysteresis could also be observed over adaptation in AV timing perception by varying different experimental conditions. Participants were asked to judge the synchrony of the last (test) stimulus of an AV sequence with either constant or gradually changing AV intervals (constant and dynamic condition, respectively). The onset timing of the test stimulus could be cued or not (prospective vs. retrospective condition, respectively). We observed hysteretic effects for AV synchrony judgments in the retrospective condition that were independent of the constant or dynamic nature of the adapted stimuli; these effects disappeared in the prospective condition. The present findings suggest that knowing when to estimate a stimulus property has a crucial impact on perceptual simultaneity judgments. Our results extend beyond AV timing perception, and have strong implications regarding the comparative study of hysteresis and adaptation phenomena.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(3). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119365 · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
76 Downloads
Available from
May 17, 2014