Perception Journal Club

On the discrepant results in synchrony judgment and temporal-order judgment tasks: a quantitative model

García-Pérez, M. A., & Alcalá-Quintana, R. (2012). On the discrepant results in synchrony judgment and temporal-order judgment tasks: a quantitative model. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19(5), 820–846. Research on the perception of temporal order uses either temporal-order judgment (TOJ) tasks or synchrony judgment (SJ) tasks, in both of which two stimuli are presented with some temporal delay and observers must judge the order of presentation. Results generally differ across tasks, raising concerns about whether they measure the same processes. We present a model including sensory and decisional parameters that places these tasks in a common framework that allows studying their implications on observed performance. TOJ tasks imply specific decisional components that explain the discrepancy of results obtained with TOJ and SJ tasks. The model is also tested against published data on audiovisual temporal-order judgments, and the fit is satisfactory, although model parameters are more accurately estimated with SJ tasks. Measures of latent point of subjective simultaneity and latent sensitivity are defined that are invariant across tasks by isolating the sensory parameters governing observed performance, whereas decisional parameters vary across tasks and account for observed differences across them. Our analyses concur with other evidence advising against the use of TOJ tasks in research on perception of temporal order.