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Derek Arnold, Kielan Yarrow, Szonya Durant, Warrick Roseboom; Recalibrating Time Perception. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):1218. doi: 10.1167/11.11.1218.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Our sense of timing is malleable. For instance, visual signals can seem synchronous with unusually early sounds after prolonged exposure to auditory signals that precede visual signals. This represent a recalibration of timing perception. Here we report a sequence of studies that illuminate this type of phenomena. First, we show that despite assertions to the contrary, recalibration of audio-visual timing perception is shaped by the spatial proximity of audio and visual inputs. Next, we show that our sense of timing for intra-modal signals is similarly pliant, by establishing that direction reversals can seem synchronous with unusually early or delayed colour changes after adaptation to colours that lead or lag direction reversals. Finally, we establish that these data are best described by a shift in one of two criteria used to differentiate simultaneous from asynchronous inputs, as opposed to a realignment of sensory signals (with the transfer of information concerning one input accelerated or delayed relative to another). Overall, our data are consistent with dynamic timing perception criteria, which can be used to resolve ambiguities that might arise due to systematic variations in the physical and neural transmissions of sensory signals.
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