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Article
Nature Neuroscience  7, 773 - 778 (2004)
Published online: 13 June 2004; | doi:10.1038/nn1268

Recalibration of audiovisual simultaneity

Waka Fujisaki1, Shinsuke Shimojo1, 2, Makio Kashino1 & Shin'ya Nishida1

1  NTT Communication Science Laboratories, NTT Corporation, 3-1 Morinosato Wakamiya, Atsugi, Kanagawa 243-0198, Japan.

2  Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.

Correspondence should be addressed to Shin'ya Nishida nishida@brl.ntt.co.jp
To perceive the auditory and visual aspects of a physical event as occurring simultaneously, the brain must adjust for differences between the two modalities in both physical transmission time and sensory processing time. One possible strategy to overcome this difficulty is to adaptively recalibrate the simultaneity point from daily experience of audiovisual events. Here we report that after exposure to a fixed audiovisual time lag for several minutes, human participants showed shifts in their subjective simultaneity responses toward that particular lag. This 'lag adaptation' also altered the temporal tuning of an auditory-induced visual illusion, suggesting that adaptation occurred via changes in sensory processing, rather than as a result of a cognitive shift while making task responses. Our findings suggest that the brain attempts to adjust subjective simultaneity across different modalities by detecting and reducing time lags between inputs that likely arise from the same physical events.

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Nature Neuroscience
ISSN: 1097-6256
EISSN: 1546-1726
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