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The Duration of a Co-Occurring Sound Modulates Visual Detection Performance in Humans

de Haas, Benjamin and Cecere, Roberto and Cullen, Harriet and Driver, Jon and Romei, Vincenzo (2013) 'The Duration of a Co-Occurring Sound Modulates Visual Detection Performance in Humans.' PLoS ONE, 8 (1). e54789-e54789. ISSN 1932-6203


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Background: The duration of sounds can affect the perceived duration of co-occurring visual stimuli. However, it is unclear whether this is limited to amodal processes of duration perception or affects other non-temporal qualities of visual perception. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we tested the hypothesis that visual sensitivity - rather than only the perceived duration of visual stimuli - can be affected by the duration of co-occurring sounds. We found that visual detection sensitivity (d') for unimodal stimuli was higher for stimuli of longer duration. Crucially, in a cross-modal condition, we replicated previous unimodal findings, observing that visual sensitivity was shaped by the duration of co-occurring sounds. When short visual stimuli (~24 ms) were accompanied by sounds of matching duration, visual sensitivity was decreased relative to the unimodal visual condition. However, when the same visual stimuli were accompanied by longer auditory stimuli (~60-96 ms), visual sensitivity was increased relative to the performance for ~24 ms auditory stimuli. Across participants, this sensitivity enhancement was observed within a critical time window of ~60-96 ms. Moreover, the amplitude of this effect correlated with visual sensitivity enhancement found for longer lasting visual stimuli across participants. Conclusions/Significance: Our findings show that the duration of co-occurring sounds affects visual perception; it changes visual sensitivity in a similar way as altering the (actual) duration of the visual stimuli does. © 2013 de Haas et al.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Acoustic Stimulation; Visual Perception; Sound; Time Factors; Adult; Female; Male
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 May 2013 17:49
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:32

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