Auditory motion affects visual motion perception in a speeded discrimination task.
Sanabria D., Lupiáñez J., Spence C.
Transient auditory stimuli have been shown to influence the perception of ambiguous 2D visual motion displays (the bouncing-disks effect; e.g. Sekuler et al. in Nature 385:308, 1997). The question addressed here was whether continuous moving auditory stimuli can also influence visual motion perception under the same experimental conditions. In Experiment 1, we used a modification of Sanabria et al.'s (Exp Brain Res 157:537-541, 2004) paradigm (involving an indirect behavioural measure of the bouncing-disks effect), in which the 2D visual display was presented together with either a brief tone, a continuous moving sound, or in the absence of any form of auditory stimulation. Crucially, the results showed that, together with the effect of the brief tone on bouncing trials, the presence of the continuous moving sound speeded-up participants' responses on streaming trials as compared to the brief tone or no sound conditions. The results of a second experiment revealed that the effect of the continuous moving sound reported in Experiment 1 was not caused simply by the presence of continuous auditory stimulation per se.