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The time window of multisensory integration: relating reaction times and judgments of temporal order

The time window of multisensory integration: relating reaction times and judgments of temporal order

Psychological Review 122(2): 232-241

Even though visual and auditory information of 1 and the same event often do not arrive at the sensory receptors at the same time, due to different physical transmission times of the modalities, the brain maintains a unitary perception of the event, at least within a certain range of sensory arrival time differences. The properties of this "temporal window of integration" (TWIN), its recalibration due to task requirements, attention, and other variables, have recently been investigated intensively. Up to now, however, there has been no consistent definition of "temporal window" across different paradigms for measuring its width. Here we propose such a definition based on our TWIN model (Colonius & Diederich, 2004). It applies to judgments of temporal order (or simultaneity) as well as to reaction time (RT) paradigms. Reanalyzing data from Mégevand, Molholm, Nayak, & Foxe (2013) by fitting the TWIN model to data from both paradigms, we confirmed the authors' hypothesis that the temporal window in an RT task tends to be wider than in a temporal-order judgment (TOJ) task. This first step toward a unified concept of TWIN should be a valuable tool in guiding investigations of the neural and cognitive bases of this so-far-somewhat elusive concept.

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Accession: 059112811

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25706404

DOI: 10.1037/a0038696

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