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Mutual Influences of Intermodal Visual/Tactile Apparent Motion and Auditory Motion with Uncrossed and Crossed Arms

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Intra-modal apparent motion has been shown to be affected or ‘captured’ by information from another, task-irrelevant modality, as shown in cross-modal dynamic capture effect. Here we created inter-modal apparent motion between visual and tactile stimuli and investigated whether there are mutual influences between auditory apparent motion and inter-modal visual/tactile apparent motion. Moreover, we examined whether and how the spatial remapping between somatotopic and external reference frames of tactile events affect the cross-modal capture between auditory apparent motion and inter-modal visual/tactile apparent motion, by introducing two arm postures: arms-uncrossed and arms-crossed. In Experiment 1, we used auditory stimuli (auditory apparent motion) as distractors and inter-modal visual/tactile stimuli (inter-modal apparent motion) as targets while in Experiment 2 we reversed the distractors and targets. In Experiment 1, we found a general detrimental influence of arms-crossed posture in the task of discrimination of direction in visual/tactile stream, but in Experiment 2, the influence of arms-uncrossed posture played a significant role in modulating the inter-modal visual/tactile stimuli capturing over auditory apparent motion. In both Experiments, the synchronously presented motion streams led to noticeable directional congruency effect in judging the target motion. Among the different modality combinations, tactile to tactile apparent motion (TT) and visual to visual apparent motion (VV) are two signatures revealing the asymmetric congruency effects. When the auditory stimuli were targets, the congruency effect was largest with VV distractors, lowest with TT distractors; the pattern was reversed when the auditory stimuli were distractors. In addition, across both experiments the congruency effect in visual to tactile (VT) and tactile to visual (TV) apparent motion was intermediate between the effect-sizes in VV and TT. We replicated the above findings with a block-wise design (Experiment 3). In Experiment 4, we introduced static distractor events (visual or tactile stimulus), and found the modulation of spatial remapping of distractors upon AA motion is reduced. These findings suggest that there are mutual but a robust asymmetric influence between intra-modal auditory apparent motion and intermodal visual/tactile apparent motion. We proposed that relative reliabilities in directional information between distractor and target streams, summed over a remapping process between two spatial reference frames, determined this asymmetric influence.


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