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Sensory experience during early sensitive periods shapes cross-modal temporal biases

  1. Stephanie Badde  Is a corresponding author
  2. Pia Ley
  3. Siddhart S Rajendran
  4. Idris Shareef
  5. Ramesh Kekunnaya
  6. Brigitte Röder
  1. New York University, United States
  2. University of Hamburg, Germany
  3. LV Prasad Eye Institute, India
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e61238 doi: 10.7554/eLife.61238

Abstract

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.

Data availability

All data have been deposited on Open Science Framework under CQN48.

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Stephanie Badde

    Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, United States
    For correspondence
    stephanie.badde@nyu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4005-5503
  2. Pia Ley

    Department of Psychology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Siddhart S Rajendran

    Department of Psychology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Idris Shareef

    Child Sight Institute, Jasti V Ramanamma Children's Eye Care Center, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9258-2199
  5. Ramesh Kekunnaya

    Child Sight Institute, Jasti V Ramanamma Children's Eye Care Center, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-5789-2300
  6. Brigitte Röder

    Biological Psychology and Neuropsychology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (BA 5600/1-1)

  • Stephanie Badde

H2020 European Research Council (ERC-2009-AdG 249425 CriticalBrainChanges)

  • Brigitte Röder

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG Ro 2625/10-1)

  • Brigitte Röder

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

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.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Tamar R Makin, University College London, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: July 20, 2020
  2. Accepted: August 18, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: August 25, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: September 7, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Badde et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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