8th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
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Hannah Helbig

Optimal integration of spatiotemporal information across vision and touch
Poster Presentation

Hannah Helbig
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen

Marc Ernst
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen

     Abstract ID Number: 64
     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: March 5, 2007
     Presentation date: 07/05/2007 10:00 AM in Quad Maclauren Hall
     (View Schedule)

The brain integrates spatial (e.g., size, location) as well as temporal (e.g., event perception) information across different sensory modalities (e.g., Ernst & Banks, 2002; Bresciani et al., 2006) in a statistically optimal manner to come up with the most reliable percept. That is, the variance (just-noticeable difference, JND) of the multisensory perceptual estimate is maximally reduced. Here we asked whether this holds also for spatiotemporal information encoded by different sensory modalities.
To study this question, we visually presented observers with a dot moving along a line. In the haptic condition, observerís finger was passively moved along the line using a robot device. Observers had to discriminate the length of two lines presented in a 2-IFC task either visually alone, haptically alone or bimodally. To judge the length of a line, spatial information (position of the moving dot or finger) had to be accumulated in time.
The bimodal discrimination performance (JND) was significantly improved relative to the performance in the uni-modal tasks and did not differ from the predictions of an optimal integration model. This result indicates that observers adopt an optimal integration strategy to integrate spatial information accumulated in time.

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