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Exp Psychol. 2008;55(2):121-32.

Multisensory identification of natural objects in a two-way crossmodal priming paradigm.

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Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology, Center of Experimental Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


The question of how vision and audition interact in natural object identification is currently a matter of debate. We developed a large set of auditory and visual stimuli representing natural objects in order to facilitate research in the field of multisensory processing. Normative data was obtained for 270 brief environmental sounds and 320 visual object stimuli. Each stimulus was named, categorized, and rated with regard to familiarity and emotional valence by N=56 participants (Study 1). This multimodal stimulus set was employed in two subsequent crossmodal priming experiments that used semantically congruent and incongruent stimulus pairs in a S1-S2 paradigm. Task-relevant targets were either auditory (Study 2) or visual stimuli (Study 3). The behavioral data of both experiments expressed a crossmodal priming effect with shorter reaction times for congruent as compared to incongruent stimulus pairs. The observed facilitation effect suggests that object identification in one modality is influenced by input from another modality. This result implicates that congruent visual and auditory stimulus pairs were perceived as the same object and demonstrates a first validation of the multimodal stimulus set.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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