Paper in Experimental Brain Research
  • Van der Burg, E., Orchard-Mills, E., Alais, D. (2014). Rapid temporal recalibration is unique to audiovisual stimuli. Experimental Brain Research, 233(1) pp. 53-59.

    Following prolonged exposure to asynchronous multisensory signals, the brain adapts to reduce the perceived asynchrony. Here, in three separate experiments, participants performed a synchrony judgment task on audiovisual, audiotactile or visuotactile stimuli and we used inter-trial analyses to examine whether temporal recalibration occurs rapidly on the basis of a single asynchronous trial. Even though all combinations used the same subjects, task and design, temporal recalibration occurred for audiovisual stimuli (i.e., the point of subjective simultaneity depended on the preceding trial’s modality order), but none occurred when the same auditory or visual event was combined with a tactile event. Contrary to findings from prolonged adaptation studies showing recalibration for all three combinations, we show that rapid, inter-trial recalibration is unique to audiovisual stimuli. We conclude that recalibration occurs at two different timescales for audiovisual stimuli (fast and slow), but only on a slow timescale for audiotactile and visuotactile stimuli.