Audiovisual tau effect

Takahiro Kawabe, Kayo Miura, Yuki Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated how spatial intervals between successive visual flashes are influenced by the temporal intervals between auditory pure tones presented concurrently with the flashes. Three successive visual flashes defined two spatial intervals with different extents as well as two equal temporal intervals. The onsets of the first and third tones were temporally aligned with those of the first and third flashes, while the onset of the second tone was temporally offset to that of the second visual flash, resulting in shorter or longer temporal intervals between pairs of tones. Observers judged which of the first or second spatial intervals between flashes was shorter. The results showed that the shorter temporal interval between tones caused underestimation of the spatial interval between flashes. On the other hand, stimuli without the first and third tones did not result in underestimation of spatial intervals between flashes. These results indicate an audiovisual tau effect, which is triggered by a constant velocity assumption applied to moving objects defined by more than one modality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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