Temporal Metrics of Multisensory Processing Change in the Elderly

Aysha Basharat, Jeannette R. Mahoney, Michael Barnett-Cowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Abstract Older adults exhibit greater multisensory response time (RT) facilitation by violating the race model more than young adults; this is commonly interpreted as an enhancement in perception. Older adults typically exhibit wider temporal binding windows (TBWs) and points of subjective simultaneity (PSS) that typically lie farther from true simultaneity as compared to young adults when simultaneity judgment (SJ) and temporal-order judgment (TOJ) tasks are utilized; this is commonly interpreted as an impairment in perception. Here we explore the relation between the three tasks in order to better assess audiovisual multisensory temporal processing in both young and older adults. Our results confirm previous reports showing that audiovisual RT, TBWs and PSSs change with age; however, we show for the first time a significant positive relation between the magnitude of race model violation in young adults as a function of the PSS obtained from the audiovisual TOJ task (r: 0.49, p: 0.007), that is absent in older adults (r: 0.13, p: 0.58). Furthermore, we find no evidence for the relation between race model violation as a function of the PSS obtained from the audiovisual SJ task in both young (r:-0.01, p: 0.94) and older adults (r: 0.1, p: 0.66). Our results confirm previous reports that (i) audiovisual temporal processing changes with age; (ii) distinct processes are likely involved in simultaneity and temporal-order perception; and (iii) common processing between race model violation and temporal-order judgment is impaired in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-744
Number of pages30
JournalMultisensory Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Multisensory integration
  • race model
  • reaction time
  • simultaneity perception
  • temporal binding window
  • temporal-order perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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