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Temporal rate is not a distinct perceptual metric

Motala, Aysha, Heron, James, McGraw, Paul V., Roach, Neil W. and Whitaker, David 2020. Temporal rate is not a distinct perceptual metric. Scientific Reports 10 , 8654. 10.1038/s41598-020-64984-4

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Abstract

Sensory adaptation experiments have revealed the existence of ‘rate after-effects’ - adapting to a relatively fast rate makes an intermediate test rate feel slow, and adapting to a slow rate makes the same moderate test rate feel fast. The present work aims to deconstruct the concept of rate and clarify how exactly the brain processes a regular sequence of sensory signals. We ask whether rate forms a distinct perceptual metric, or whether it is simply the perceptual aggregate of the intervals between its component signals. Subjects were exposed to auditory or visual temporal rates (a ‘slow’ rate of 1.5Hz and a ‘fast’ rate of 6Hz), before being tested with single unfilled intervals of varying durations. Results show adapting to a given rate strongly influences the perceived duration of a single empty interval. This effect is robust across both interval reproduction and duration discrimination judgments. These findings challenge our understanding of rate perception. Specifically, they suggest that contrary to some previous assertions, the perception of sequence rate is strongly influenced by the perception of the sequence’s component duration intervals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 19 April 2020
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 17:30
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/131203

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