Perception of auditory-visual temporal synchrony in human infants

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1996 Oct;22(5):1094-106. doi: 10.1037//0096-1523.22.5.1094.


Using a habituation/test procedure, the author investigated adults' and infants' perception of auditory-visual temporal synchrony. Participants were familiarized with a bouncing green disk and a sound that occurred each time the disk bounced. Then, they were given a series of asynchrony test trials where the sound occurred either before or after the disk bounced. The magnitude of the auditory-visual temporal asynchrony threshold differed markedly in adults and infants. The threshold for the detection of asynchrony created by a sound preceding a visible event was 65 ms in adults and 350 ms in infants and for the detection of asynchrony created by a sound following a visible event was 112 ms in adults and 450 ms in infants. Also, infants did not respond to asynchronies that exceeded intervals that yielded reliable discrimination. Infants' perception of auditory-visual temporal unity is guided by a synchrony and an asynchrony window, both of which become narrower in development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Association Learning
  • Attention
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Female
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Motion Perception*
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Time Perception*