Assessing automaticity in the audiovisual integration of motion.
Soto-Faraco S., Spence C., Kingstone A.
This study examined the multisensory integration of visual and auditory motion information using a methodology designed to single out perceptual integration processes from post-perceptual influences. We assessed the threshold stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) at which the relative directions (same vs. different) of simultaneously presented visual and auditory apparent motion streams could no longer be discriminated (Experiment 1). This threshold was higher than the upper threshold for direction discrimination (left vs. right) of each individual modality when presented in isolation (Experiment 2). The poorer performance observed in bimodal displays was interpreted as a consequence of automatic multisensory integration of motion information. Experiment 3 supported this interpretation by ruling out task differences as the explanation for the higher threshold in Experiment 1. Together these data provide empirical support for the view that multisensory integration of motion signals can occur at a perceptual level.