Different response patterns between auditory spectral and spatial temporal order judgment (TOJ)

Leah Fostick, Harvey Babkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Temporal order judgment (TOJ) thresholds have been widely reported as valid estimates of the temporal disparity necessary for correctly identifying the order of two stimuli. Data for two auditory TOJ paradigms are often reported in the literature: (1) spatially-based TOJ in which the order of presentation of the same stimulus to the right and left ear differs; and (2) spectrally-based TOJ in which the order of two stimuli differing in frequency is presented to one ear or to both ears simultaneously. Since the thresholds reported using the two paradigms differ, the aim of the current study was to compare their response patterns. The results from three different experiments showed that: (1) while almost none of the participants were able to perform the spatial TOJ task when ISI = 5 ms, with the spectral task, 50% reached an accuracy level of 75% when ISI = 5 ms; (2) temporal separation was only a partial predictor for performance in the spectral task, while it fully predicted performance in the spatial task; and (3) training improved performance markedly in the spectral TOJ task, but had no effect on spatial TOJ. These results suggest that the two paradigms may reflect different perceptual mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-443
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013


  • Auditory temporal order judgment (TOJ)
  • Perceptual cues
  • Spatial TOJ
  • Spectral TOJ


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