Dynamic perceptual changes in audiovisual simultaneity

Kanai, Ryota, Sheth, Bhavin R, Verstraten, Frans A J and Shimojo, Shinsuke (2007) Dynamic perceptual changes in audiovisual simultaneity. PLoS ONE, 2 (12). e1253. ISSN 1932-6203

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (387kB) | Preview



The timing at which sensory input reaches the level of conscious perception is an intriguing question still awaiting an answer. It is often assumed that both visual and auditory percepts have a modality specific processing delay and their difference determines perceptual temporal offset.


Here, we show that the perception of audiovisual simultaneity can change flexibly and fluctuates over a short period of time while subjects observe a constant stimulus. We investigated the mechanisms underlying the spontaneous alternations in this audiovisual illusion and found that attention plays a crucial role. When attention was distracted from the stimulus, the perceptual transitions disappeared. When attention was directed to a visual event, the perceived timing of an auditory event was attracted towards that event.


This multistable display illustrates how flexible perceived timing can be, and at the same time offers a paradigm to dissociate perceptual from stimulus-driven factors in crossmodal feature binding. Our findings suggest that the perception of crossmodal synchrony depends on perceptual binding of audiovisual stimuli as a common event.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Depositing User: Ryota Kanai
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 09:32
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2018 09:58
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43980

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update