From observation to enactment: Can dance experience enhance multisensory temporal integration?

TitleFrom observation to enactment: Can dance experience enhance multisensory temporal integration?
Publication TypeJournal Papers
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSgouramani, H, Muller, C, Van Noorden, L, Leman, M, Vatakis, A
JournalSeeing and Perceiving
AbstractWe report two experiments aiming to define how experience and stimulus enactment affect multisensory temporal integration for ecologically-valid stimuli. In both experiments, a number of different dance steps were used as audiovisual displays at a range of stimulus onset asynchronies using the method of constant stimuli. Participants were either professional dancers or non-dancers. In Experiment 1, using a simultaneity judgment (SJ) task, we aimed at defining — for the first time — the temporal window of integration (TWI) for dancers and non-dancers and the role of experience in SJ performance. Preliminary results showed that dancers had smaller TWI in comparison to non-dancers for all stimuli tested, with higher complexity (participant rated) dance steps requiring larger auditory leads for both participant groups. In Experiment 2, we adapted a more embodied point of view by examining how enactment of the stimulus modulates the TWIs. Participants were presented with simple audiovisual dance steps that could be synchronous or asynchronous and were asked to synchronize with the audiovisual display by actually performing the step indicated. A motion capture system recorded their performance at a millisecond level of accuracy. Based on the optimal integration hypothesis, we are currently looking at the data in terms of which modality will be dominant, considering that dance is a spatially (visual) and temporally (audio) coordinated action. Any corrective adjustments, accelerations–decelerations, hesitations will be interpreted as indicators of the perception of ambiguity in comparison to their performance at the synchronous condition, thus, for the first time, an implicit SJ response will be measured.