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Brain Res. 2008 Jul 18;1220:157-63. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.12.060. Epub 2008 Jan 3.

Sound increases the saliency of visual events.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology II and Center for Advanced Imaging, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Leipziger Street 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany. toemme@med.ovgu.de

Abstract

We show that concurrent auditory stimuli can enhance the visual system's ability to detect brief visual events. Participants indicated which of two visual stimuli was briefly blinked off. A spatially non-aligned auditory cue - simultaneous with the blink - significantly enhanced subjects' detection ability, while a visual cue decreased detection ability relative to a no-cue condition. Control experiments indicate that the auditory-driven enhancement was not attributable to a warning effect. Also, the enhancement did not depend on an exact temporal alignment of cue-target onsets or offsets. In combination, our results provide evidence that the sound-induced enhancement is not due to a sharpening of visual temporal responses or apparent prolongation of the visual event. Rather, this enhancement seems to reflect an increase in phenomenal visual saliency.

PMID:
18234167
DOI:
10.1016/j.brainres.2007.12.060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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