Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 198, Issue 2–3, pp 245–259 | Cite as

Audio–tactile superiority over visuo–tactile and audio–visual combinations in the temporal resolution of synchrony perception

  • Waka Fujisaki
  • Shin’ya Nishida
Research Article


To see whether there is a difference in temporal resolution of synchrony perception between audio–visual (AV), visuo–tactile (VT), and audio–tactile (AT) combinations, we compared synchrony–asynchrony discrimination thresholds of human participants. Visual and auditory stimuli were, respectively, a luminance-modulated Gaussian blob and an amplitude-modulated white noise. Tactile stimuli were mechanical vibrations presented to the index finger. All the stimuli were temporally modulated by either single pulses or repetitive-pulse trains. The results show that the temporal resolution of synchrony perception was similar for AV and VT (e.g., ~4 Hz for repetitive-pulse stimuli), but significantly higher for AT (~10 Hz). Apart from having a higher temporal resolution, however, AT synchrony perception was similar to AV synchrony perception in that participants could select matching features through attention, and a change in the matching-feature attribute had little effect on temporal resolution. The AT superiority in temporal resolution was indicated not only by synchrony–asynchrony discrimination but also by simultaneity judgments. Temporal order judgments were less affected by modality combination than the other two tasks.


Psychophysics Temporal synchrony Audio–visual–tactile Synchrony–asynchrony discrimination Simultaneity judgment Temporal order judgment 



Most of this work was carried out when WF was a JSPS Research Fellow at NTT Communication Science Laboratories.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)TsukubaJapan
  2. 2.NTT Communication Science LaboratoriesNTT CorporationAtsugi-shiJapan

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