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Age-related changes in auditory and visual interactions in temporal rate perception

Brooks, Cassandra; Anderson, Andrew; Roach, Neil W.; McGraw, Paul V.; McKendrick, Allison M.


Cassandra Brooks

Andrew Anderson

Associate Professor

Professor of Visual Neuroscience

Allison M. McKendrick


We investigated how aging affects the integration of temporal rate for auditory flutter (amplitude modulation) presented with visual flicker. Since older adults were poorer at detecting auditory amplitude modulation, modulation depth was individually adjusted so that temporal rate was equally discriminable for 10 Hz flutter and flicker, thereby balancing the reliability of rate information available to each sensory modality. With age-related sensory differences normalized in this way, rate asynchrony skewed both auditory and visual rate judgments to the same extent in younger and older adults. Therefore, reliability-based weighting of temporal rate is preserved in older adults. Concurrent presentation of synchronous 10 Hz flicker and flutter improved temporal rate discrimination consistent with statistically optimal integration in younger but not older adults. In a control experiment, younger adults were presented with the same physical auditory stimulus as older adults. This time, rate asynchrony skewed perceived rate with greater auditory weighting rather than balanced integration. Taken together, our results indicate that integration of discrepant auditory and visual rates is not altered due to the healthy aging process once sensory deficits are accounted for, but that aging does abolish the minor improvement in discrimination performance seen in younger observers when concordant rates are integrated.


Brooks, C., Anderson, A., Roach, N. W., McGraw, P. V., & McKendrick, A. M. (2015). Age-related changes in auditory and visual interactions in temporal rate perception. Journal of Vision, 15(16), doi:10.1167/15.16.2

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 23, 2015
Online Publication Date Dec 1, 2015
Publication Date Dec 1, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 13, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 30, 2019
Publisher Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 16
Article Number 2
Public URL
Publisher URL
PMID 00036825


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