We studied the expected moment of reappearance of a moving object after it disappeared from sight. In particular, we investigated whether auditory rhythms influence time to contact (TTC) judgments. Using displays in which a moving disk disappears behind an occluder, we examined whether an accompanying auditory rhythm influences the expected TTC of an occluded moving object. We manipulated a baseline auditory rhythm — consisting of equal sound and pause durations — in two ways: either the pause durations or the sound durations were increased to create slower rhythms. Participants had to press a button at the moment they expected the disk to reappear. Variations in pause duration (Experiments 1 and 2) affected expected TTC, in contrast to variations in sound duration (Experiment 3). These results show that auditory rhythms affect expected reappearance of an occluded moving object. Second, these results suggest that temporal auditory grouping is an important factor in TTC.
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