City Research Online

Neural-latency noise places limits on human sensitivity to the timing of events

Yarrow, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-0666-2163, Kohl, C., Segasby, T. , Bansal, R. K., Rowe, P. & Arnold, D. H. (2022). Neural-latency noise places limits on human sensitivity to the timing of events. Cognition, 222, article number 105012. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2021.105012


The brain-time account posits that the physical timing of sensory-evoked neural activity determines the perceived timing of corresponding sensory events. A canonical model formalises this account for tasks such as simultaneity and order judgements: Signals arrive at a decision centre in an order, and at a temporal offset, shaped by neural propagation times. This model assumes that the noise affecting people’s temporal judgements is primarily neural-latency noise, i.e. variation in propagation times across trials, but this assumption has received little scrutiny. Here, we recorded EEG alongside simultaneity judgements from 50 participants in response to combinations of visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. Bootstrapping of ERP components was used to estimate neural-latency noise, and simultaneity judgements were modelled to estimate the precision of timing judgements. We obtained the predicted correlation between neural and behavioural measures of latency noise, supporting a fundamental feature of the canonical model of perceived timing.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Time perception, timing, simultaneity, synchrony, order, intersensory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of EEG_SJ Cognition R_2_clean.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login