Effects of Temporal Distribution on Utility of Temporal Factors in Competitive Audio-Visual Perceived Synchrony

in Multisensory Research
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The perception of audio-visual synchrony is affected by both temporal coincidence and stimulus congruency factors. In situations when temporal and stimulus information are not in agreement, the perceiver must rely on the relative informative value of both factors in deciding which of multiple potential binding candidates are most likely to be of a common source to a target. Previous research has shown that, all being equal, participants tend to rely primarily on temporal information, and only take stimulus information into consideration when temporal information is ambiguous. The current research seeks to examine the reliance on temporal vs. stimulus information by altering the degree of useful information available in temporal aspects. By varying the temporal distribution of stimuli, it was possible to either increase or decrease the number of trials on which temporal information is conclusive. Data indicate that when temporal information is less informative (i.e., when more asynchronous stimuli are presented), we become less reliant on using prior knowledge about timing relationships when making synchrony judgements. However, when temporal information is more informative (i.e., when more synchronous stimuli are presented) there is no increase in reliance on this type of information. These findings increase what is known about competitive audiovisual processing, and the fact that temporal information serves as a kind of default stimulus property, which can be decreased by reducing the utility of that information.

Effects of Temporal Distribution on Utility of Temporal Factors in Competitive Audio-Visual Perceived Synchrony

in Multisensory Research

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Figures

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    Schematic of experimental procedure. Upper panel shows the potential timings for visual and auditory stimuli. Lower panel shows three temporal distributions from which auditory stimulus timings were drawn.

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    Proportion of perceived synchrony between auditory stimulus and second visual stimulus based on timing of presentation and comparing rectangular and centrally peaked distributions of temporal presentation. Error bars represent standard error.

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    Proportion of perceived synchrony between auditory stimulus and second visual stimulus based on timing of presentation and comparing rectangular and peripherally peaked distributions of temporal presentation. Error bars represent standard error.

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    Point of crossing 50% secondary responding (P50) for comparing rectangular and centrally peaked distributions (left side of figure) and for comparing rectangular and peripherally peaked distributions (right side of figure). Error bars represent standard error.

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    Tangent slope at P50 (mT) for comparing rectangular and centrally peaked distributions (left side of figure) and for comparing rectangular and peripherally peaked distributions (right side of figure). Error bars represent standard error.

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