Typical human perception features stable biases such as perceiving visual events as later than synchronous auditory events. The origin of such perceptual biases is unknown. To investigate the role of early sensory experience, we tested whether a congenital, transient loss of pattern vision, caused by bilateral dense cataracts, has sustained effects on audio-visual and tactile-visual temporal biases and resolution. Participants judged the temporal order of successively presented, spatially separated events within and across modalities. Individuals with reversed congenital cataracts showed a bias towards perceiving visual stimuli as occurring earlier than auditory (Expt. 1) and tactile (Expt. 2) stimuli. This finding stood in stark contrast to normally sighted controls and sight-recovery individuals who had developed cataracts later in childhood: both groups exhibited the typical bias of perceiving vision as delayed compared to audition. These findings provide strong evidence that cross-modal temporal biases depend on sensory experience during an early sensitive period.
All data have been deposited on Open Science Framework under CQN48.
Cross-modal temporal biases emerge during early sensitive periodsOpen Science Framework, DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/CQN48.
- Stephanie Badde
- Brigitte Röder
- Brigitte Röder
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: All participants or, if applicable, their legal guardian, provided written informed consent before beginning the experiment. The study was conducted in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the ethical board of the German Psychological Society as well as the local ethical committee of the LV Prasad Eye Institute.
- Tamar R Makin, University College London, United Kingdom
© 2020, Badde et al.
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