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Full Access Interactions of multisensory integration and spatial attention in auditory space perception

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Interactions of multisensory integration and spatial attention in auditory space perception

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In reverberant environments sound reflections (echoes) interfere with spatial information of the sound source. The precedence effect is a mechanism that suppresses spatial information of echoes arriving with a short latency and fuses them with the sound source, helping listeners to localize sound sources. Two recent papers showed that the strength of the precedence effect can be modulated by spatially and temporally congruent visual information (Bishop et al., 2011) and exogenous spatial attention (London et al., 2012). If a concurrent visual stimulus or a visual cue (300 ms before auditory stimulus) occurred at the location of the sound source, echo suppression was enhanced. If the respective visual stimuli occurred at the location of the echo, the suppression mechanism was inhibited. While multisensory integration was earlier thought to be an automatic process not influenced by attention, in recent years several studies were able to show that attention can influence multisensory integration under specific conditions. In this study we combine visual (multisensory context) and exogenous attentional modulation of echo suppression to examine how interactions of multisensory integration and bottom-up driven attentional modulation shape auditory space perception. From the comparison of listener’s performance in trials with either (i) visual or (ii) attentional modulation of echo suppression alone or with (iii) simultaneous visual and attentional modulation to either the same or different locations the interrelation of the two processes can be disentangled.

Affiliations: 1: University of Leipzig, Germany

In reverberant environments sound reflections (echoes) interfere with spatial information of the sound source. The precedence effect is a mechanism that suppresses spatial information of echoes arriving with a short latency and fuses them with the sound source, helping listeners to localize sound sources. Two recent papers showed that the strength of the precedence effect can be modulated by spatially and temporally congruent visual information (Bishop et al., 2011) and exogenous spatial attention (London et al., 2012). If a concurrent visual stimulus or a visual cue (300 ms before auditory stimulus) occurred at the location of the sound source, echo suppression was enhanced. If the respective visual stimuli occurred at the location of the echo, the suppression mechanism was inhibited. While multisensory integration was earlier thought to be an automatic process not influenced by attention, in recent years several studies were able to show that attention can influence multisensory integration under specific conditions. In this study we combine visual (multisensory context) and exogenous attentional modulation of echo suppression to examine how interactions of multisensory integration and bottom-up driven attentional modulation shape auditory space perception. From the comparison of listener’s performance in trials with either (i) visual or (ii) attentional modulation of echo suppression alone or with (iii) simultaneous visual and attentional modulation to either the same or different locations the interrelation of the two processes can be disentangled.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134808-000s0157
2013-05-16
2017-01-21

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