Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 236, Issue 3, pp 629–643 | Cite as

Temporal ventriloquism along the path of apparent motion: speed perception under different spatial grouping principles

  • Cansu Ogulmus
  • Merve Karacaoglu
  • Hulusi KafaligonulEmail author
Research Article


The coordination of intramodal perceptual grouping and crossmodal interactions plays a critical role in constructing coherent multisensory percepts. However, the basic principles underlying such coordinating mechanisms still remain unclear. By taking advantage of an illusion called temporal ventriloquism and its influences on perceived speed, we investigated how audiovisual interactions in time are modulated by the spatial grouping principles of vision. In our experiments, we manipulated the spatial grouping principles of proximity, uniform connectedness, and similarity/common fate in apparent motion displays. Observers compared the speed of apparent motions across different sound timing conditions. Our results revealed that the effects of sound timing (i.e., temporal ventriloquism effects) on perceived speed also existed in visual displays containing more than one object and were modulated by different spatial grouping principles. In particular, uniform connectedness was found to modulate these audiovisual interactions in time. The effect of sound timing on perceived speed was smaller when horizontal connecting bars were introduced along the path of apparent motion. When the objects in each apparent motion frame were not connected or connected with vertical bars, the sound timing was more influential compared to the horizontal bar conditions. Overall, our findings here suggest that the effects of sound timing on perceived speed exist in different spatial configurations and can be modulated by certain intramodal spatial grouping principles such as uniform connectedness.


Temporal ventriloquism Apparent motion Speed perception Spatial grouping Audiovisual interactions Multisensory 



We thank Aaron Clarke and Jennifer Corbett for the discussions on this work and comments on the manuscript. This research was supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK Grant 113K547).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Magnetic Resonance Research Center (UMRAM)Bilkent UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Neuroscience ProgramBilkent UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyBilkent UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  4. 4.Aysel Sabuncu Brain Research CenterBilkent UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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