Acoustic facilitation of object movement detection during self-motion

Brain and Vision Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Impact Factor: 5.05). 02/2011; 278(1719):2840-7. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2757
Source: PubMed


In humans, as well as most animal species, perception of object motion is critical to successful interaction with the surrounding environment. Yet, as the observer also moves, the retinal projections of the various motion components add to each other and extracting accurate object motion becomes computationally challenging. Recent psychophysical studies have demonstrated that observers use a flow-parsing mechanism to estimate and subtract self-motion from the optic flow field. We investigated whether concurrent acoustic cues for motion can facilitate visual flow parsing, thereby enhancing the detection of moving objects during simulated self-motion. Participants identified an object (the target) that moved either forward or backward within a visual scene containing nine identical textured objects simulating forward observer translation. We found that spatially co-localized, directionally congruent, moving auditory stimuli enhanced object motion detection. Interestingly, subjects who performed poorly on the visual-only task benefited more from the addition of moving auditory stimuli. When auditory stimuli were not co-localized to the visual target, improvements in detection rates were weak. Taken together, these results suggest that parsing object motion from self-motion-induced optic flow can operate on multisensory object representations.

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Available from: Lucia M. Vaina, Feb 03, 2015
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    • "dashed vertical line; taken from Teneggi et al. (2013), with permission). 5 Whereas in these latter studies dynamic stimuli approached or receded from a static observer, the improvement of visual movement detection by congruent auditory motion signals during simulated self-motion would appear to suggest that multisensory (audiovisual) interactions can also be observed during self-motion (Calabro et al., 2011 "
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    • "Indeed, non-visual information about the speed (Fajen and Matthis, 2011) and direction (Fajen et al., in press) of self-motion also plays a role in recovering object motion in world coordinates. These findings and those of other researchers (e.g., Dyde and Harris, 2008; Calabro et al., 2011; MacNeilage et al., 2012; Warren et al., 2012) highlight the multisensory nature of the flow parsing problem. "
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