To intercept a moving object, one needs to be in the right place at the right time. In order to do this, it is necessary to pick up and use perceptual information that specifies the time to arrival of an object at an interception point. In the present study, we examined the ability to intercept a laterally moving virtual sound object by controlling the displacement of a sliding handle and tested whether and how the interaural time difference (ITD) could be the main source of perceptual information for successfully intercepting the virtual object. The results revealed that in order to accomplish the task, one might need to vary the duration of the movement, control the hand velocity and time to reach the peak velocity (speed coupling), while the adjustment of movement initiation did not facilitate performance. Furthermore, the overall performance was more successful when subjects employed a time-to-contact (tau) coupling strategy. This result shows that prospective information is available in sound for guiding goal-directed actions.
- perception-action coupling, sound interception, tau, interaural time difference, temporal control of movement, moving sound source