InterJournal Complex Systems, 381
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [381]
Submission Date: 504
How continuous is the perception of relative phase?
Author(s): David R. Collins

Subject(s): CX.41

Category: Brief Article


Perception and movement studies have found very similar results for judgments and performance of rhythmic events. Perception and performance are both considerably more stable, and somewhat more accurate, when the relative phase between two events is near 0 or 180 degrees than near 90 degrees. Perception and performance both degrade as the event speed increases. The similarity of results provides evidence that phase is perceptually available, and that the limitations of perceiving phase govern the results for performance and perception. Evidence that phase may be perceived continuously rather than restricted to the endpoints of movements comes from an experiment in which participants were able to discriminate phase variability equally well whether variability was uniformly distributed throughout the cycle or excluded from regions surrounding the endpoints. A coupled limit cycle oscillator model has been developed that incorporates these findings by replacing the terms of a hybrid escapement (van der pol and releigh) with a perceptual driving force governed by the oscillators' phase (with no extrinsic periodic signal).

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