September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Perceptual Learning on Simultaneity and Temporal Order Judgments
Author Affiliations
  • Nestor Matthews
    Department of Psychology, Denison University
  • Leslie Welch
    Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences, Brown University
  • Rebecca Achtman
    Department of Psychology, Denison University
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 1130. doi:
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      Nestor Matthews, Leslie Welch, Rebecca Achtman; Perceptual Learning on Simultaneity and Temporal Order Judgments. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1130.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Introduction: Prior research on bilateral-stream Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) displays reveals that participants often perceive left visual field (LVF) targets significantly sooner than right visual field (RVF) targets (Matthews, Welch, Festa & Clement, 2013). The hastened perception of LVF targets occurs for temporal order judgments (TOJs) but not simultaneity judgments (SJs) on the same stimuli. This demonstrates task-specific neural events for time perception. Here, we investigated the extent to which task-specific neural events govern time discrimination by evaluating whether training differentially affects the precision of SJs and TOJs. Method: Twenty Denison University undergraduates viewed bilateral-stream RSVP displays containing two targets, one in each lateral hemifield, shown either simultaneously or at various asynchronies. Half the participants judged the targets’ temporal order (TOJ task), and half judged whether the targets appeared simultaneously or not (SJ task). Retinal stimulation remained identical across the SJ and TOJ tasks. Each participant completed two daily training sessions. Collectively, the participants completed 24,000 trials (600 trials per day * 2 days * 10 participants per task * 2 tasks). We assessed temporal precision using standard signal detection procedures to determine d’. Results: On each task and each day, the precision of SJs and TOJs increased significantly with target-asynchrony magnitude (logarithmic trends, p’s≤0.05), demonstrating significant stimulus-control over the participants’ responses. At each target asynchrony, mean TOJ precision increased significantly (p’s≤0.05) from day 1 to day 2. The practice-based improvement observed on TOJs significantly exceeded that observed on SJs (p’s=3.04E-05), which exhibited non-significant precision decreases on day 2. Conclusion: In principle, precision on SJs and TOJs could depend on a shared computation, namely, the difference between two arrival times. Despite this, our perceptual learning data suggest a dissociation between the neural events mediating SJ and TOJ precision even when stimulation remains identical across tasks.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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