Timing of information is essential for many aspects of human perception and action. Information coming from different sense organs is processed in separate areas of the brain, so there must be a mechanism that relates back the information about timing of signals. This project will analyze some of the properties of this mechanism and to find out how asynchrony, duration, and time course of signals, are processed by the brain. The goal of this inquiry is to determine how multisensory information can be presented so as to manipulate the perception of virtual objects.
Three perceptual effects will be studied: the range of asynchronies at which stimuli are perceived to be synchronous and are integrated into one percept, the effect of distance on audiovisual simultaneity perception, and how information obtained through multiple sensory signals is integrated in the time domain.
In particular, a new method will be employed to assess what are the limits of the mechanism devoted to establishing whether two signals are integrated. Theoretical and experimental work will be performed to determine what are the mechanisms that allow for overcoming the effect of perceptual asynchronies of audiovisual signals created by distance. Finally, a theoretical and experimental investigation will be preformed to find out what are the conditions that allow to maximally reduction of uncertainty about temporal estimates when multiple sources of information are presented.
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