Facilitation of Detectability and Criterion by Automatic Temporal Expectation

  •  Gisele Pinheiro    
  •  Luiz Ribeiro-do-Valle    


The presentation of an auditory stimulus immediately before a visual target stimulus shortens reaction time. This
effect has been attributed to the facilitation of decisional and/or motor processes by automatic temporal
expectation. The present study examined the possibility that automatic temporal expectation also facilitates
sensory processing. Eighteen young adults performed a simple task, which required detecting a threshold
luminance small ring presented at fixation. In half of the trials, a low intensity tone preceded this target stimulus by
200 ms. Accuracy was evaluated for the cue absent and the cue present trials. Detectability (d-prime) was higher
and criterion (C) lower for the cue present condition than for the cue absent trials. These results indicate that
automatic temporal expectation facilitates visual processing and confirm its facilitatory influence on decisional

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