8th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
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Valeria Occelli

Audiotactile Temporal Order Judgments (TOJs) in sighted and blind individuals
Poster Presentation

Valeria Occelli
University of Trento

Charles Spence
Oxford University

Massimiliano Zampini
University of Trento

     Abstract ID Number: 90
     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: June 12, 2007
     Presentation date: 07/05/2007 10:00 AM in Quad Maclauren Hall
     (View Schedule)

In the present study, we examined the potential effect of spatial factors on audiotactile TOJs in both sighted and blind adults.
Pairs of auditory and tactile stimuli were presented from the left and/or right of participants at varying stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) using the method of constant stimuli. The participants had to make unspeeded TOJs regarding which sensory modality was presented first. Systematic differences between the two groups emerged. While sighted participants’ performance was unaffected by the relative spatial positions (i.e., same vs. different) from which stimuli were presented, blind participants were significantly more accurate when audiotactile stimuli were presented from different positions rather than from the same position. These results provide the first evidence suggesting a spatial modulation of audiotactile interactions in a temporal perception task performed by visually impaired humans. The fact that blind individuals benefit from the redundant spatial cues to facilitate their performance is consistent with data showing that visual deprivation determines an improvement of the capability to process spatial cues within touch and hearing sensory modalities (e.g. Hötting & Röder, 2004). Finally, our results support the hypothesis that the absence of visual cues is related to more pronounced audiotactile interactions (Kitagawa et al., 2005).

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