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Visual and Auditory Influence on Perceptual Stability in Visual Competition

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For more content, see Multisensory Research and Spatial Vision.

In visual competition, the perception of ambiguous visual patterns changes spontaneously. Although the process causing this perceptual alternation remains unclear, recent evidence suggests various types of non-visual influences in resolving visual ambiguity. In the present study, we investigated cross-modal modulation of a transient stimulus on visual perceptual stability (i.e., alternation frequency). Participants observed an ambiguous visual figure and reported their perceptual alternations. Concurrently, we presented visual and auditory transient events. The results revealed that the auditory as well as visual transient events destabilize the current perception (i.e., they increase alternation frequency) around 0.5–1.5 s after the event. In addition, the magnitudes of auditory and visual effects were comparable and positively correlated within participants. These results suggest that the visual perceptual stability can be under the influence of processes that are shared by different senses.

Affiliations: 1: Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku 153-8904, Tokyo, Japan; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 5-3-1 Koujimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8471, Japan; 2: Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku 153-8904, Tokyo, Japan; Japan Science and Technology Agency, 4-1-8, Honcho, Kawaguchi-shi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan


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