8th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
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Gary Bargary

Seeing where the ears hear: visual encoding of auditory spatial sequences
Single Paper Presentation

Gary Bargary
Dept. of Psychology, University of Dublin Trinity College

Jason Chan
Dept. of Psychology, University of Dublin Trinity College

Fiona Newell
Dept. of Psychology, University of Dublin Trinity College

     Abstract ID Number: 41
     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: May 30, 2007
     Presentation date: 07/06/2007 8:40 AM in Quad General Lecture Theatre
     (View Schedule)

In the temporal domain, audition can play a significant role in the processing of a visual event (Blake et al., 2005) suggesting mandatory recoding of temporal information into audition. Here we examined the corollary that auditory spatial events are recoded into vision. To that end, we investigated whether the perception of a sequence of auditory stimuli across a broad spatial array was affected by concomitant, task-irrelevant visual spatial information. The task involved comparing two successive auditory sequences. During the initial auditory sequence visual stimuli were interleaved with the auditory events and were either congruent, incongruent, absent or non-informative (present in all locations) with the location of the auditory stimuli. Importantly, sufficient spatial and temporal disparities between the auditory and visual stimuli were introduced to eliminate any effects due to visual capture or the ‘ventriloquist’ effect. We found that task-irrelevant visual information incongruent to the auditory spatial sequence significantly disrupted performance compared with the 3 other conditions (Exp 1). When conditions were blocked (Exp 2) we found that congruent visual information facilitated performance. These findings suggest mandatory coding of spatial information into vision and have implications for our understanding of the mechanisms that facilitate integration of spatial information across the senses.

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