The duration of uncertain times: audiovisual information about intervals is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion

Hartcher O'Brien J, Di Luca M, Ernst MO (2014)
PLoS ONE 9(3).

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Often multisensory information is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion where each sensory source is weighted according to its precision. This integration scheme is statistically optimal because it theoretically results in unbiased perceptual estimates with the highest precision possible. There is a current lack of consensus about how the nervous system processes multiple sensory cues to elapsed time. In order to shed light upon this, we adopt a computational approach to pinpoint the integration strategy underlying duration estimation of audio/visual stimuli. One of the assumptions of our computational approach is that the multisensory signals redundantly specify the same stimulus property. Our results clearly show that despite claims to the contrary, perceived duration is the result of an optimal weighting process, similar to that adopted for estimates of space. That is, participants weight the audio and visual information to arrive at the most precise, single duration estimate possible. The work also disentangles how different integration strategies – i.e. considering the time of onset/offset of signals - might alter the final estimate. As such we provide the first concrete evidence of an optimal integration strategy in human duration estimates.
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Hartcher O'Brien J, Di Luca M, Ernst MO. The duration of uncertain times: audiovisual information about intervals is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(3).
Hartcher O'Brien, J., Di Luca, M., & Ernst, M. O. (2014). The duration of uncertain times: audiovisual information about intervals is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion. PLoS ONE, 9(3).
Hartcher O'Brien, J., Di Luca, M., and Ernst, M. O. (2014). The duration of uncertain times: audiovisual information about intervals is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion. PLoS ONE 9.
Hartcher O'Brien, J., Di Luca, M., & Ernst, M.O., 2014. The duration of uncertain times: audiovisual information about intervals is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion. PLoS ONE, 9(3).
J. Hartcher O'Brien, M. Di Luca, and M.O. Ernst, “The duration of uncertain times: audiovisual information about intervals is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion”, PLoS ONE, vol. 9, 2014.
Hartcher O'Brien, J., Di Luca, M., Ernst, M.O.: The duration of uncertain times: audiovisual information about intervals is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion. PLoS ONE. 9, (2014).
Hartcher O'Brien, Jessica, Di Luca, Massimiliano, and Ernst, Marc O. “The duration of uncertain times: audiovisual information about intervals is integrated in a statistically optimal fashion”. PLoS ONE 9.3 (2014).
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