Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

The Subjective Duration of Audiovisual Looming and Receding Stimuli

Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

The Subjective Duration of Audiovisual Looming and Receding Stimuli

Article excerpt

Published online: 1 June 2012

(C) Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2012

Abstract Looming visual stimuli (log-increasing in proximal size over time) and auditory stimuli (of increasing sound intensity over time) have been shown to be perceived as longer than receding visual and auditory stimuli (i.e., looming stimuli reversed in time). Here, we investigated whether such asymmetry in subjective duration also occurs for audiovisual looming and receding stimuli, as well as for stationary stimuli (i.e., stimuli that do not change in size and/or intensity over time). Our results showed a great temporal asymmetry in audition but a null asymmetry in vision. In contrast, the asymmetry in audiovision was moderate, suggesting that multisensory percepts arise from the integration of unimodal percepts in a maximum-likelihood fashion.

Keywords Looming * Receding * Audiovisual * Maximum likelihood integration

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

The traditional approach to perception investigates one sense at time (Fechner, 1889). This approach is useful for understanding the functioning of singular senses; however, it does not take into account that perception is inherently a multimodal process. For example, when looking at a fireplace, we simultaneously see the fire, hear the noise of the wood burning, and feel the heat of the fire on our skin. The multi-modal approach to perception has led to questions that are still largely unanswered, such as how the percepts from the different senses are integrated to form a coherent picture of the sensory world (see Calvert, Spence, & Stein, 2004, for an overview). This is particularly true when studies investigate perceptual continua that do not belong to a particular sense (e.g., a sound's pitch or an object's brightness) but that, on the contrary, are shared by all senses, such as the subjective diuation of an event.

We can experience diuation with all senses. However, a duration-related phenomenon in one sense may be similar, may disappear, or may be exaggerated or reduced in a different sense. And likewise, it may be similar, may disappear, or may be exaggerated or reduced when all of the senses are stimulated at once. For example, the subjective diuation of a sound of increasing intensity (e.g., a stimulus compatible with the proximal stimulation generated by a looming sound soiuce) is longer than the subjective diuation of the same sound reversed in time (i.e., a stimulus compatible with the proximal stimulation generated by a receding sound soiuce; see DiGiovanni & Schlauch, 2007; Grassi, 2003, 2010; Grassi & Darwin, 2006; Schlauch, Ries, & DiGiovanni, 2001). A similar temporal asymmetry has been recently observed by van Wassenhove, Buonomano, Shimojo, and Shams (2008). These authors found that the subjective diuation of a disc linearly increasing in size (a stimulus compatible with the proximal stimulation of a looming object) is longer than that of a disc linearly decreasing in size (a stimulus compatible with the proximal stimulation of a receding object) when these objects are presented within a repeated temporal string of fixed-size discs (the so-called "oddball paradigm"; see Tse, Intriligator, Rivest, & Cavanagh, 2004). In a subsequent study, Wittmann, van Wassenhove, Craig, and Paulus (2010)1 replicated this result but also observed that the above difference in subjective duration may arise because of a response bias for looming stimuli: Participants simply respond "longer" to looming discs, regardless of the disc's duration. In sum, although a difference in subjective duration between looming and receding stimuli may exist in vision, too, this difference is not as clear as that observed in audition.

However, the similarities between audition and vision in the perception of looming and receding stimuli are not limited to subjective duration. For example, on the auditory side, looming stimuli are louder (Stecker & Hafter, 2000), change more in loudness (Neuhoff, 1998, 2001; Olsen & Stevens, 2010; Olsen, Stevens, & Tardieu, 2010; Pastore & Flint, 2011; for long diuations, see Canévet, 1986; Canévet & Scharf, 1990; Canévet, Teghtsoonian, & Teghtsoonian, 2003; Schlauch, 1992; Susini, McAdams, & Smith, 2002, 2007; Teghtsoonian, Teghtsoonian, & Canévet, 2000, 2005), and have a stronger tonal quality (Patterson, 1994a, 1994b; Patterson & trino, 1998) than do receding sounds. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.