Experimental Brain Research (2018) 236:1825–1834
Normal temporal binding window but no sound-induced ﬂash illusion
in people with one eye
Stefania S. Moro
· Jennifer K. E. Steeves
Received: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published online: 19 April 2018
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
Integrating vision and hearing is an important way in which we process our rich sensory environment. Partial deprivation
of the visual system from the loss of one eye early in life results in adaptive changes in the remaining senses (e.g., Hoover
et al. in Exp Brain Res 216:565–74, 2012). The current study investigates whether losing one eye early in life impacts the
temporal window in which audiovisual events are integrated and whether there is vulnerability to the sound-induced ﬂash
illusion. In Experiment 1, we measured the temporal binding window with a simultaneity judgement task where low-level
auditory and visual stimuli were presented at diﬀerent stimulus onset asynchronies. People with one eye did not diﬀer in the
width of their temporal binding window, but they took longer to make judgements compared to binocular viewing controls.
In Experiment 2, we measured how many light ﬂashes were perceived when a single ﬂash was paired with multiple auditory
beeps in close succession (sound induced ﬂash illusion). Unlike controls, who perceived multiple light ﬂashes with two,
three or four beeps, people with one eye were not susceptible to the sound-induced ﬂash illusion. In addition, they took no
longer to respond compared to both binocular and monocular (eye-patched) viewing controls. Taken together, these results
suggest that the lack of susceptibility to the sound-induced ﬂash illusion in people with one eye cannot be accounted for by
the width of the temporal binding window. These results provide evidence for adaptations in audiovisual integration due to
the reduction of visual input from the loss of one eye early in life.
Keywords Monocular enucleation · Audiovisual processing · Double ﬂash illusion · Temporal binding window ·
Multisensory · Sound-induced ﬂash illusion
There is a growing body of research demonstrating that com-
plete deprivation of the visual system from the loss of both
eyes early in life results in changes in the remaining senses.
Since the visual system is not fully mature at birth and con-
tinues to develop throughout infancy, childhood and ado-
lescence [see Daw (2006) for a review], it is vulnerable to
changes in sensory input during this time. If atypical visual
experience occurs during developmental critical periods, it
can lead to visual deﬁcits (Daw 2006). Early disruption of
vision will result in alterations in visual processing that may
aﬀect the development of complementary senses such as
audition (Elbert et al. 2002; King 2009, for a review).
Monocular enucleation, the surgical removal of one eye,
is a unique model for examining the consequences of the
loss of binocularity [see Steeves et al. (2008), for a review].
Unlike other forms of monocular visual deprivation such
as cataract, strabismus, ptosis or anisometropia that leave
abnormal visual input from the aﬀected eye to the visual
system, surgical removal of the eye completely eliminates all
visual input to the brain from that eye (Steeves et al. 2008).
Similar to the congenitally blind (Lessard et al. 1998), peo-
ple with one eye have better auditory localization compared
to control participants who were monocular viewing (with
one eye patched), binocular viewing or with both eyes closed
(Hoover et al. 2012).
To make our perception of the world as accurate as pos-
sible, humans can take advantage of a variety of complemen-
tary, often redundant, information from diﬀerent sensory
systems. What these cues are and how important each is for
* Jennifer K. E. Steeves
Department of Psychology and Centre for Vision Research,
York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON, Canada
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada