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Proc Biol Sci. 2011 Sep 22;278(1719):2840-7. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2757. Epub 2011 Feb 9.

Acoustic facilitation of object movement detection during self-motion.

Author information

  • 1Brain and Vision Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Abstract

In humans, as well as most animal species, perception of object motion is critical to successful interaction with the surrounding environment. Yet, as the observer also moves, the retinal projections of the various motion components add to each other and extracting accurate object motion becomes computationally challenging. Recent psychophysical studies have demonstrated that observers use a flow-parsing mechanism to estimate and subtract self-motion from the optic flow field. We investigated whether concurrent acoustic cues for motion can facilitate visual flow parsing, thereby enhancing the detection of moving objects during simulated self-motion. Participants identified an object (the target) that moved either forward or backward within a visual scene containing nine identical textured objects simulating forward observer translation. We found that spatially co-localized, directionally congruent, moving auditory stimuli enhanced object motion detection. Interestingly, subjects who performed poorly on the visual-only task benefited more from the addition of moving auditory stimuli. When auditory stimuli were not co-localized to the visual target, improvements in detection rates were weak. Taken together, these results suggest that parsing object motion from self-motion-induced optic flow can operate on multisensory object representations.

This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society

PMID:
21307050
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3145189
Free PMC Article

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