Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 75, Issue 8, pp 1811-1816

First online:

No time-stretching illusion when a tone is followed by a noise

  • Tsuyoshi KurodaAffiliated withJapan Society for the Promotion of Science / Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University Email author 
  • , Simon GrondinAffiliated withUniversité Laval


A sine tone is perceived as longer when it is preceded by a more intense noise than when presented in isolation. This is the time-stretching illusion. We conducted an experiment where the method of constant stimuli was used to examine whether a tone would also be stretched when it was followed by a noise. The duration of a tone was overestimated when it was preceded by a noise, but not when followed by a noise or when located between two consecutive noises. Moreover, the increasing of the noise intensity (from −6 to +6 dB) relative to the tone intensity resulted in larger overestimations, but only in the condition where a tone was preceded by a noise. In brief, the duration of a tone is stretched when this tone is preceded by a noise and if this tone is not followed by a noise.


Auditory illusion Filled duration Discrimination Sound edge Intensity