4th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
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Sharon Morein-Zamir

There's more than meets the eye or ear: the asymmetry in visual and auditory temporal ventriloquism

Sharon Morein-Zamir
University of British Columbia

Alan Kingstone
University of British Columbia

     Abstract ID Number: 79
     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: March 20, 2003

In temporal ventriloquism, the timing of irrelevant sounds can enhance or hinder performance in a visual temporal order judgment (TOJ) task. The present study questioned whether irrelevant flashes would influence performance in an auditory TOJ task in the same manner. Using a staircase procedure, identical protocols were developed for auditory and visual TOJ tasks. Sounds before and after two successive flashes improved visual TOJ performance compared to baseline (where sounds appeared simultaneously with the lights). Moreover, sounds intervening between the two successive lights led to worse performance than baseline, thus replicating the temporal ventriloquism with the new staircase procedure. Importantly, when the role of the sounds and lights were reversed, the temporal ventriloquism effect was eliminated. Additional experiments revealed that the form of the irrelevant stimuli (brief versus persisting) also plays a role in temporal ventriloquism. The results demonstrate an inherent asymmetry between audition and vision: sounds can influence the perceived timing of lights, while lights do not seem able to change the perceived timing of sounds.

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