A psychophysical investigation of differences between synchrony and temporal order judgments

Love, S. A., Petrini, K., Cheng, A. and Pollick, F. E. (2013) A psychophysical investigation of differences between synchrony and temporal order judgments. PLoS ONE, 8(1), e54798. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054798) (PMID:23349971) (PMCID:PMC3549984)

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Background 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. Methodology/Principal Findings 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. Conclusions 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.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pollick, Professor Frank and Love, Mr Scott
Authors: Love, S. A., Petrini, K., Cheng, A., and Pollick, F. E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Love et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 8(1):e54798
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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