Intramodal and crossmodal pairing and anchoring in comparisons of successive stimuli

Atten Percept Psychophys. 2014 May;76(4):1197-211. doi: 10.3758/s13414-014-0635-1.


Two experiments were conducted to study effects of modality, temporal position, and their interaction on comparisons of successive stimuli. In Experiment 1, intramodal (tone-tone and line-line) and crossmodal (tone-line and line-tone) stimulus pairs, with two interstimulus intervals (ISIs), 400 and 2,000 ms, were presented. Participants indicated which stimulus was the "stronger." Time-order errors (TOEs) were assessed using the D% measure and were found in all types of pairs. Variation in TOEs across conditions was well accounted for by changes in parameters (stimulus weights, reference levels) in an extended version of Hellström's sensation weighting (SW) model. With an ISI of 2,000 ms, the first stimulus had a lower weight (less impact on the response) than did the second stimulus. More negative TOEs were found with the longer ISI in all pair types except tone-line. In Experiment 2, participants indicated which of two lines was the longer or which of two tones was the louder. An intra- or crossmodal anchor, or no anchor, was interpolated between the stimuli. Anchoring tended to reduce the weight of the first stimulus, suggesting interference with memory, and to yield negative TOEs. Intramodal anchors yielded reduced weights of both stimuli, most dramatically for tones, suggesting an additional effect of stimulus interference. Response times decreased with crossmodal anchors. For line-line pairs, strong negative TOEs were found. In both experiments, the variation in TOE across conditions was well accounted for by the SW model.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Differential Threshold
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult