Temporal adaptation to audiovisual asynchrony generalizes across different sound frequencies
Navarra J., García-Morera J., Spence C.
The human brain exhibits a highly adaptive ability to reduce natural asynchronies between visual and auditory signals. Even though this mechanism robustly modulates the subsequent perception of sounds and visual stimuli, it is still unclear how such a temporal realignment is attained. In the present study, we investigated whether or not temporal adaptation generalizes across different auditory frequencies. In a first exposure phase, participants adapted to a fixed 220-ms audiovisual asynchrony or else to synchrony for 3 min. In a second phase, the participants performed simultaneity judgments (SJs) regarding pairs of audiovisual stimuli that were presented at different stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and included either the same tone as in the exposure phase (a 250 Hz beep), another lowpitched beep (300 Hz), or a high-pitched beep (2500 Hz).Temporal realignment was always observed (when comparing SJ performance after exposure to asynchrony vs. synchrony), regardless of the frequency of the sound tested. This suggests that temporal recalibration influences the audiovisual perception of sounds in a frequency non-specific manner and may imply the participation of non-primary perceptual areas of the brain that are not constrained by certain physical features such as sound frequency. © 2012 Navarra, García-Morera and Spence.