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Identification of visual stimuli is improved by accompanying auditory stimuli: The role of eye movements and sound location

Doyle, M. C. and Snowden, Robert Jefferson 2001. Identification of visual stimuli is improved by accompanying auditory stimuli: The role of eye movements and sound location. Perception 30 (7) , pp. 795-810. 10.1068/p3126

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Abstract

Can auditory signals influence the processing of visual information? The present study examined the effects of simple auditory signals (clicks and noise bursts) whose onset was simultaneous with that of the visual target, but which provided no information about the target. It was found that such a signal enhances performance in the visual task: the accessory sound reduced response times for target identification with no cost to accuracy. The spatial location of the sound (whether central to the display or at the target location) did not modify this facilitation. Furthermore, the same pattern of facilitation was evident whether the observer fixated centrally or moved their eyes to the target. The results were not altered by changes in the contrast (and therefore visibility) of the visual stimulus or by the perceived utility of the spatial location of the sound. We speculate that the auditory signal may promote attentional 'disengagement' and that, as a result, observers are able to process the visual target sooner when sound accompanies the display relative to when visual information is presented alone.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0301-0066/ (accessed 20/02/2014).
Publisher: Pion
ISSN: 0301-0066
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:10
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/33865

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