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Meeting Abstract

Time and time again: temporal influences of repeated stimuli

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Di Luca, M. (2012). Time and time again: temporal influences of repeated stimuli. Seeing and Perceiving, 25(0), 10.

Temporal perception does not always correspond to objective time. Several factors contribute to distort perceived timing of stimuli. This work investigates the effect of repeated stimulus presentation (either a sound or a light) on perceived timing of a subsequent audiovisual pair. At the beginning of each trial, a series of sounds or lights is presented with a constant interval. One final stimulus is presented either rhythmically or with a temporal shift. In a psychophysical task, participants judged whether the last stimulus in the sequence is presented before or after a temporal probe in the other modality. Results indicate two types of effects. First, the last stimulus of the sequence appears to be delayed with respect to the probe in the other modality. Second, deviations from regular rhythm tend to be perceptually compensated. Overall, perceived stimulus timing is shown to be affected by the temporal context, and the effect is consistent with a change in perceptual latency. The change depends on the modality of the repeated stimulus and can be explained as a combined effect of an temporal adaptation (i.e., slowing down perception) plus a temporal expectation acting on the slightly arrhythmic stimuli.