Integration of auditory and vibrotactile stimuli: Effects of frequency

Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139.
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (Impact Factor: 1.5). 05/2010; 127(5):3044-59. DOI: 10.1121/1.3365318
Source: PubMed


Perceptual integration of vibrotactile and auditory sinusoidal tone pulses was studied in detection experiments as a function of stimulation frequency. Vibrotactile stimuli were delivered through a single channel vibrator to the left middle fingertip. Auditory stimuli were presented diotically through headphones in a background of 50 dB sound pressure level broadband noise. Detection performance for combined auditory-tactile presentations was measured using stimulus levels that yielded 63% to 77% correct unimodal performance. In Experiment 1, the vibrotactile stimulus was 250 Hz and the auditory stimulus varied between 125 and 2000 Hz. In Experiment 2, the auditory stimulus was 250 Hz and the tactile stimulus varied between 50 and 400 Hz. In Experiment 3, the auditory and tactile stimuli were always equal in frequency and ranged from 50 to 400 Hz. The highest rates of detection for the combined-modality stimulus were obtained when stimulating frequencies in the two modalities were equal or closely spaced (and within the Pacinian range). Combined-modality detection for closely spaced frequencies was generally consistent with an algebraic sum model of perceptual integration; wider-frequency spacings were generally better fit by a Pythagorean sum model. Thus, perceptual integration of auditory and tactile stimuli at near-threshold levels appears to depend both on absolute frequency and relative frequency of stimulation within each modality.

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Available from: Louis D Braida, Sep 04, 2014
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    • "Early research indicated that tactile stimulus could be seen to enhance simultaneous auditory stimuli, but the interpretation of results pointed towards an affection of response criteria and perceptual sensitivity due to increases to both signal and noise [17]. Other studies indicate that the detection of a stimulus is enhanced when it simultaneously registers with two or more sensory modalities [18]. "
    NIME 2015; 01/2015
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    • "Consequently, other sensory inputs may add to the perception of the auditory stimuli with the integrated perception being greater than auditory alone. One such example is that the combination of auditory and tactile stimulation facilitates detection of a stimulation (Wilson et al., 2010a). Another example is that the combination of auditory and tactile stimulation result in greater perception of loudness than auditory stimulation alone (Wilson et al., 2010b). "
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    ABSTRACT: In a previous study (Stenfelt and Håkansson, 2002) a loudness balance test between bone conducted (BC) sound and air conducted (AC) sound was performed at frequencies between 0.25 and 4 kHz and at levels corresponding to 30 to 80 dB HL. The main outcome of that study was that for maintaining equal loudness, the level increase of sound with BC stimulation was less than that of AC stimulation with a ratio between 0.8 and 0.93 dB/dB. However, because it was shown that AC and BC tone cancellation was independent of the stimulation level, the loudness level difference did not originate in differences in basilar membrane stimulation. Therefore, it was speculated that the result could be due to the loudness estimation procedure. To investigate this further, another loudness estimation method (adaptive categorical loudness scaling) was here employed in 20 normal-hearing subjects. The loudness of a low-frequency and a high-frequency noise burst was estimated using the adaptive categorical loudness scaling technique when the stimulation was bilaterally by AC or BC. The sounds where rated on an 11-point scale between inaudible and too loud. The total dynamic range for these sounds was over 80 dB when presented by AC (between inaudible and too loud) and the loudness functions were similar for the low and the high-frequency stimulation. When the stimulation was by BC the loudness functions were steeper and the ratios between the slopes of the AC and BC loudness functions were 0.88 for the low-frequency sound and 0.92 for the high-frequency sound. These results were almost equal to the previous published results using the equal loudness estimation procedure, and it was unlikely that the outcome stems from the loudness estimation procedure itself. One possible mechanism for the result was loudness integration of multi-sensory input. However, no conclusive evidence for such a mechanism could be given by the present study.
    Hearing research 04/2013; 301. DOI:10.1016/j.heares.2013.03.010 · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    • "When a sound was presented on the same side as a near-threshold electrical cutaneous stimulus, detection rates increased when compared with when the sound was presented on the opposite side from the touch. We also showed that when a non-informative sound was presented along with a near-threshold vibrotactile stimulus delivered to the hand, the sound increased touch perception if it was at the same frequency as the vibrotactile stimulus (also see Wilson et al. 2010). One potential neural basis for these effects of sounds on touch perception may be interconnections between the auditory and somatosensory cortex. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hearing and feeling both rely upon the transduction of physical events into frequency-based neural codes, suggesting that the auditory system may be intimately related to the somatosensory system. Here, we provide evidence that the neural substrates for audition and somatosensation are anatomically linked. Using diffusion tensor imaging with both deterministic and probabilistic tractography to measure white matter connectivity, we show that there are extensive ipsilateral connections between the primary auditory cortex and the primary and secondary somatosensory regions in the human cerebral cortex. We further show that these cross-modal connections are exaggerated between the auditory and secondary somatosensory cortex in the lesioned hemisphere of a patient (SR) with acquired auditory-tactile synesthesia, in whom sounds alone produce bodily sensations. These results provide an anatomical basis for multisensory interactions between audition and somatosensation and suggest that cross-talk between these regions may explain why some sounds, such as nails screeching down a chalkboard or an audible mosquito, can induce feelings of touch, especially on the contralesional body surface of patient SR.
    Cerebral Cortex 06/2012; 23(7). DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhs166 · 8.67 Impact Factor
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