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Selective integration of auditory-visual looming cues by humans

Cappe, Céline and Thut, Gregor and Romei, Vincenzo and Murray, Micah M (2009) 'Selective integration of auditory-visual looming cues by humans.' Neuropsychologia, 47 (4). pp. 1045-1052. ISSN 0028-3932

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An object's motion relative to an observer can confer ethologically meaningful information. Approaching or looming stimuli can signal threats/collisions to be avoided or prey to be confronted, whereas receding stimuli can signal successful escape or failed pursuit. Using movement detection and subjective ratings, we investigated the multisensory integration of looming and receding auditory and visual information by humans. While prior research has demonstrated a perceptual bias for unisensory and more recently multisensory looming stimuli, none has investigated whether there is integration of looming signals between modalities. Our findings reveal selective integration of multisensory looming stimuli. Performance was significantly enhanced for looming stimuli over all other multisensory conditions. Contrasts with static multisensory conditions indicate that only multisensory looming stimuli resulted in facilitation beyond that induced by the sheer presence of auditory-visual stimuli. Controlling for variation in physical energy replicated the advantage for multisensory looming stimuli. Finally, only looming stimuli exhibited a negative linear relationship between enhancement indices for detection speed and for subjective ratings. Maximal detection speed was attained when motion perception was already robust under unisensory conditions. The preferential integration of multisensory looming stimuli highlights that complex ethologically salient stimuli likely require synergistic cooperation between existing principles of multisensory integration. A new conceptualization of the neurophysiologic mechanisms mediating real-world multisensory perceptions and action is therefore supported. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Multisensory; Crossmodal; Perception; Psychophysics; Movement; Distance
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2013 15:29
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:31

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