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Action-outcome learning and prediction shape the window of simultaneity of audiovisual outcomes

Desantis, A; Haggard, P; (2016) Action-outcome learning and prediction shape the window of simultaneity of audiovisual outcomes. Cognition , 153 pp. 33-42. 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.03.009. Green open access

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Abstract

To form a coherent representation of the objects around us, the brain must group the different sensory features composing these objects. Here, we investigated whether actions contribute in this grouping process. In particular, we assessed whether action-outcome learning and prediction contribute to audiovisual temporal binding. Participants were presented with two audiovisual pairs: one pair was triggered by a left action, and the other by a right action. In a later test phase, the audio and visual components of these pairs were presented at different onset times. Participants judged whether they were simultaneous or not. To assess the role of action-outcome prediction on audiovisual simultaneity, each action triggered either the same audiovisual pair as in the learning phase ('predicted' pair), or the pair that had previously been associated with the other action ('unpredicted' pair). We found the time window within which auditory and visual events appeared simultaneous increased for predicted compared to unpredicted pairs. However, no change in audiovisual simultaneity was observed when audiovisual pairs followed visual cues, rather than voluntary actions. This suggests that only action-outcome learning promotes temporal grouping of audio and visual effects. In a second experiment we observed that changes in audiovisual simultaneity do not only depend on our ability to predict what outcomes our actions generate, but also on learning the delay between the action and the multisensory outcome. When participants learned that the delay between action and audiovisual pair was variable, the window of audiovisual simultaneity for predicted pairs increased, relative to a fixed action-outcome pair delay. This suggests that participants learn action-based predictions of audiovisual outcome, and adapt their temporal perception of outcome events based on such predictions.

Type: Article
Title: Action-outcome learning and prediction shape the window of simultaneity of audiovisual outcomes
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.03.009
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2016.03.009
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Action-outcome learning, Action-outcome prediction, Agency, Audiovisual binding, Time perception, Voluntary action
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493875
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