On the Temporal Precision of Thought: Individual Differences in the Multisensory Temporal Binding Window Predict Performance on Verbal and Nonverbal Problem Solving Tasks

in Multisensory Research
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Although psychology is greatly preoccupied by the tight link between the way that individuals perceive the world and their intelligent, creative behavior, there is little experimental work on the relationship between individual differences in perception and cognitive ability in healthy populations. Here, individual differences in problem solving ability were examined in relation to multisensory perception as measured by tolerance for temporal asynchrony between auditory and visual inputs, i.e., the multisensory temporal binding window. The results demonstrated that enhanced performance in both verbal and nonverbal problem solving tasks (the Remote Associates Test and Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices Task) is predicted by a narrower audio-visual temporal binding window, which reflects greater sensitivity to subtle discrepancies in sensory inputs. This suggests that the precision of individuals’ temporal window of multisensory integration might mirror their capacities for complex reasoning and thus the precision of their thoughts.

On the Temporal Precision of Thought: Individual Differences in the Multisensory Temporal Binding Window Predict Performance on Verbal and Nonverbal Problem Solving Tasks

in Multisensory Research

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Figures

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    Percentage of synchrony judgment with error bars as a function of stimuli onset asynchronies (SOAs). p<0.001.

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    Scatter plot depicting the correlations between the synchrony judgment at SOA of 350 ms and the scores from both the verbal problem solving task (RAT) and the nonverbal problem solving task (Raven’s APM).

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    Scatter plot depicting the correlations between the TBW in milliseconds and the scores from both the verbal problem solving task (RAT) and the nonverbal problem solving task (Raven’s APM).

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    Percentage of synchrony judgment at SOA = 350 ms (with error bars) as a function of high scores and low scores for verbal (RAT) and nonverbal (Raven’s APM) complex problems. p<0.05.

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    Percentage of synchrony judgment as a function of stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and calculated temporal binding window (TBW) of males and females with error bars. p<0.05.

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