An auditory time perception illusion analogous to the visual Müller-Lyer illusion.

The European Journal of Neuroscience
Tadas Surkys


According to the centroid hypothesis, the visual Müller-Lyer-type illusions in which subjects misperceive lines or gaps as longer or shorter depending on surrounding distracters result from the pooling of positioning neural signals such that the perceived object is shifted towards these distracters. However, it is uncertain if this type of pooling is a more general principal that influences perceptions in other sensory modalities, including time perception based on auditory signals. In this study, I show that by applying the principles of the centroid hypothesis, an audial time duration illusion can be constructed. The perception of two sequential time intervals, which were defined by three short tone signals, was distorted by placing distracting white noise sounds near each signal. Misperception magnitude, which peaked at 31%, changed with the time interval between the tone signals and distracters; the relationship between the target-distracter distance and the illusion strength closely paralleled with that of a Müller-Lyer-type illusion, whereby the visual objects were analogically arranged in space rather than time. These results demonstrate that even if signals and distracters are distinguishable, the neural mechanisms for ...Continue Reading


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Sep 16, 2021·The European Journal of Neuroscience·Tadas Surkys

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Sep 16, 2021·The European Journal of Neuroscience·Tadas Surkys

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