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Full Access Adaptation to audiovisual asynchrony occurs rapidly

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Adaptation to audiovisual asynchrony occurs rapidly

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In order to combine information from different sensory modalities the brain must deal with considerable temporal uncertainty. In natural environments, an external event may produce simultaneous auditory and visual signals yet they will invariably activate the brain asynchronously due to different propagation speeds for light and sound and different neural response latencies once the signals reach the observer. One strategy the brain uses to deal with audiovisual timing variation is to adapt to a prevailing asynchrony to help re-align the signals. Here we investigate audiovisual recalibration and show that it takes place extremely rapidly. Our results demonstrate that exposure to a single, brief asynchrony is sufficient to produce strong recalibration effects. Such fast-acting recalibration provides a mechanism for overcoming inevitable audiovisual timing variation and serves to rapidly re-align signals at onset to maximize the perceptual benefits of audiovisual integration.

Affiliations: 1: 1School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia; 2: 2School of Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia

In order to combine information from different sensory modalities the brain must deal with considerable temporal uncertainty. In natural environments, an external event may produce simultaneous auditory and visual signals yet they will invariably activate the brain asynchronously due to different propagation speeds for light and sound and different neural response latencies once the signals reach the observer. One strategy the brain uses to deal with audiovisual timing variation is to adapt to a prevailing asynchrony to help re-align the signals. Here we investigate audiovisual recalibration and show that it takes place extremely rapidly. Our results demonstrate that exposure to a single, brief asynchrony is sufficient to produce strong recalibration effects. Such fast-acting recalibration provides a mechanism for overcoming inevitable audiovisual timing variation and serves to rapidly re-align signals at onset to maximize the perceptual benefits of audiovisual integration.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134808-000s0028
2013-05-16
2016-12-11

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