Advantage of audition over vision in a perceptual timing task but not in a sensorimotor timing task.


Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-Sen University, 132 Waihuan East Road, Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou, 510006, Guangdong, China. [Email]


Timing is essential for various behaviors and relative to vision, audition is considered to be specialized for temporal processing. The present study conducted a sensorimotor timing task that required tapping in synchrony with a temporally regular sequence and a perceptual timing task that required detecting a timing deviation among a temporally regular sequence. The sequence was composed of auditory tones, visual flashes, or a visual bouncing ball. In the sensorimotor task, sensorimotor timing performance (synchronization stability) of the bouncing ball was much greater than that of flashes and was comparable to that of tones. In the perceptual task, where perceptual timing performance of the bouncing ball was greater than that of flashes, it was poorer than that of tones. These results suggest the facilitation of both perceptual and sensorimotor processing of temporal information by the bouncing ball. Given such facilitation of temporal processing, however, audition is still superior over vision in perceptual detection of timing.

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