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eNeuro. 2018 May 25;5(3). pii: ENEURO.0047-18.2018. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0047-18.2018. eCollection 2018 May-Jun.

Perceptual Oscillation of Audiovisual Time Simultaneity.

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Dipartimento Di Ricerca Traslazionale e Delle Nuove Tecnologie in Medicina e Chirurgia, Università Di Pisa, via San Zeno 31, Pisa, 56123, Italy.
Istituto Di Neuroscienze, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR), via Moruzzi 1, Pisa, 56124, Italy.
Dipartimento Di Psicologia, Farmacologia e Salute Del Bambino (NEUROFARBA), Università Di Firenze, via San Salvi 12, Firenze, 50135, Italy.
IRCCS Stella-Maris, Viale Del Tirreno 331, Pisa, 56018, Italy Calambrone.


Action and perception are tightly coupled systems requiring coordination and synchronization over time. How the brain achieves synchronization is still a matter of debate, but recent experiments suggest that brain oscillations may play an important role in this process. Brain oscillations have been also proposed to be fundamental in determining time perception. Here, we had subjects perform an audiovisual temporal order judgment task to investigate the fine dynamics of temporal bias and sensitivity before and after the execution of voluntary hand movement (button-press). The reported order of the audiovisual sequence was rhythmically biased as a function of delay from hand action execution. Importantly, we found that it oscillated at a theta range frequency, starting ∼500 ms before and persisting ∼250 ms after the button-press, with consistent phase-locking across participants. Our results show that the perception of cross-sensory simultaneity oscillates rhythmically in synchrony with the programming phase of a voluntary action, demonstrating a link between action preparation and bias in temporal perceptual judgments.


Audiovisual; Behavioral Oscillations; Decision Bias; Simultaneity; Theta; Time Perception

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