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Full Access Audition dominates vision after loss of one eye early in life when the systems are in competition but not when they are integrated

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Audition dominates vision after loss of one eye early in life when the systems are in competition but not when they are integrated

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Previous research has shown that people with one eye have enhanced sound localization and lack visual dominance, commonly found in binocular and monocular viewing controls. These findings imply cross-sensory adaptation likely as compensation for their loss of binocularity. We assessed whether the advantage given to audition in people with one eye, when the auditory and visual systems were in competition, might also be found when the systems were integrated together to make unified judgements. Participants were asked to spatially localize perceptually fused audiovisual events in which the auditory and visual components were spatially disparate in order to quantify the relative weightings assigned to each system when the systems were integrated. There was no difference in the reliability assigned to localizing unimodal visual and auditory targets by people with one eye compared to controls. When localizing bimodal targets, the weightings assigned to each sensory modality in both people with one eye and controls were predictable from their unimodal performance in accordance with the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) model. People with one eye appear to integrate the auditory and visual components of multisensory events optimally when determining spatial location despite the fact that they do not show the typical dominance of vision over audition when the two systems are in competition. It is possible that attentional modifications to the processing of each component when they are processed in parallel may represent an adaptive cross-sensory compensatory mechanism for the loss of binocular visual input that does not alter how these signals are integrated.

Affiliations: 1: 1Centre for Vision Research, York University, Canada

Previous research has shown that people with one eye have enhanced sound localization and lack visual dominance, commonly found in binocular and monocular viewing controls. These findings imply cross-sensory adaptation likely as compensation for their loss of binocularity. We assessed whether the advantage given to audition in people with one eye, when the auditory and visual systems were in competition, might also be found when the systems were integrated together to make unified judgements. Participants were asked to spatially localize perceptually fused audiovisual events in which the auditory and visual components were spatially disparate in order to quantify the relative weightings assigned to each system when the systems were integrated. There was no difference in the reliability assigned to localizing unimodal visual and auditory targets by people with one eye compared to controls. When localizing bimodal targets, the weightings assigned to each sensory modality in both people with one eye and controls were predictable from their unimodal performance in accordance with the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) model. People with one eye appear to integrate the auditory and visual components of multisensory events optimally when determining spatial location despite the fact that they do not show the typical dominance of vision over audition when the two systems are in competition. It is possible that attentional modifications to the processing of each component when they are processed in parallel may represent an adaptive cross-sensory compensatory mechanism for the loss of binocular visual input that does not alter how these signals are integrated.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134808-000s0133
2013-05-16
2016-12-04

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