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Multisensory Research

Nina Goossens, Lotte Janssens, Madelon Pijnenburg, Karen Caeyenberghs, Charlotte Van Rompuy, Paul Meugens, Stefan Sunaert, Simon Brumagne
Processing proprioceptive information in the brain is essential for optimal postural control and can be studied with proprioceptive stimulation, provided by muscle vibration, during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Classic electromagnetic muscle vibrators, however, cannot be used in the high-strength magnetic field of the fMRI scanner. Pneumatic vibrators offer an fMRI-compatible alternative. However, whether these devices produce reliable and valid proprioceptive stimuli has not been investigated, although this is essential for these devices to be used in longitudinal research...
2016: Multisensory Research
Philip M Grove, Caitlin Robertson, Laurence R Harris
The ‘stream/bounce’ illusion refers to the perception of an ambiguous visual display in which two discs approach each other on a collision course. The display can be seen as two discs streaming through each other or bouncing off each other. Which perception dominates, may be influenced by a brief transient, usually a sound, presented around the time of simulated contact. Several theories have been proposed to account for the switching in dominance based on sensory processing, attention and cognitive inference, but a universally applicable, parsimonious explanation has not emerged...
2016: Multisensory Research
Kentaro Hiromitsu, Akira Midorikawa
Out-of-body experiences (OBEs) have been reported in patients with neurological or psychiatric disorders. According to these reports, the patients looked down on their body from overhead. Based on this phenomenon, we adopted a downward perspective in an experimentally induced OBE paradigm and compared responses to an OBE questionnaire (sensations of OBE) with self-location mapping (feelings of body drift). The results revealed a correlation between the sensation of an OBE and self-location under the downward-perspective condition but not under the parallel-perspective condition; however, no significant difference was observed between the two conditions...
2016: Multisensory Research
Joshua J Dobias, Thomas V Papathomas, Anuja Sarwate
A common form of the Ponzo illusion involves two test probes of equal size, embedded in a planar linear perspective painting depicting a three-dimensional (3D) scene, where the probe perceived to be farther is judged to be larger than the probe perceived closer to the viewer. In this paper, the same perspective 3D scene was painted on three surfaces: (a) A 2D surface incongruent with the 3D painted scene (flat perspective). (b) A 3D surface with a geometry congruent with the 3D scene (proper perspective). (c) A 3D surface with an opposite depth arrangement to the 3D scene (reverse perspective)...
2016: Multisensory Research
Kristina Dumas, Roee Holtzer, Jeannette R Mahoney
Research investigating multisensory integration (MSI) processes in aging is scarce, but converging evidence for larger behavioral MSI effects in older compared to younger adults exists. The current study employed a three-prong approach to determine whether inherent age-related sensory processing declines were associated with larger (i.e., worse) visual-somatosensory (VS) reaction time (RT) facilitation effects. Non-demented older adults ( n = 156 ; mean age = 77 years; 55% female) without any medical or psychiatric conditions were included...
2016: Multisensory Research
Patricia R DeLucia, Doug Preddy, Daniel Oberfeld
Previous studies of time-to-collision (TTC) judgments of approaching objects focused on effectiveness of visual TTC information in the optical expansion pattern (e.g., visual tau, disparity). Fewer studies examined effectiveness of auditory TTC information in the pattern of increasing intensity (auditory tau), or measured integration of auditory and visual TTC information. Here, participants judged TTC of an approaching object presented in the visual or auditory modality, or both concurrently. TTC information provided by the modalities was jittered slightly against each other, so that auditory and visual TTC were not perfectly correlated...
2016: Multisensory Research
Giles Hamilton-Fletcher, Thomas D Wright, Jamie Ward
Visual sensory substitution devices (SSDs) can represent visual characteristics through distinct patterns of sound, allowing a visually impaired user access to visual information. Previous SSDs have avoided colour and when they do encode colour, have assigned sounds to colour in a largely unprincipled way. This study introduces a new tablet-based SSD termed the ‘Creole’ (so called because it combines tactile scanning with image sonification) and a new algorithm for converting colour to sound that is based on established cross-modal correspondences (intuitive mappings between different sensory dimensions)...
2016: Multisensory Research
Riku Asaoka, Jiro Gyoba
Previous studies have shown that the perceived duration of visual stimuli can be strongly distorted by auditory stimuli presented simultaneously. In this study, we examine whether sounds presented separately from target visual stimuli alter the perceived duration of the target’s presentation. The participants’ task was to classify the duration of the target visual stimuli as perceived by them into four categories. Our results demonstrate that a sound presented before and after a visual target increases or decreases the perceived visual duration depending on the inter-stimulus interval between the sounds and the visual stimulus...
2016: Multisensory Research
Marieke Rohde, Loes C J van Dam, Marc Ernst
Humans combine redundant multisensory estimates into a coherent multimodal percept. Experiments in cue integration have shown for many modality pairs and perceptual tasks that multisensory information is fused in a statistically optimal manner: observers take the unimodal sensory reliability into consideration when performing perceptual judgments. They combine the senses according to the rules of Maximum Likelihood Estimation to maximize overall perceptual precision. This tutorial explains in an accessible manner how to design optimal cue integration experiments and how to analyse the results from these experiments to test whether humans follow the predictions of the optimal cue integration model...
2016: Multisensory Research
O Deroy, N Faivre, C Lunghi, C Spence, M Aller, U Noppeney
The integration of information has been considered a hallmark of human consciousness, as it requires information being globally available via widespread neural interactions. Yet the complex interdependencies between multisensory integration and perceptual awareness, or consciousness, remain to be defined. While perceptual awareness has traditionally been studied in a single sense, in recent years we have witnessed a surge of interest in the role of multisensory integration in perceptual awareness. Based on a recent IMRF symposium on multisensory awareness, this review discusses three key questions from conceptual, methodological and experimental perspectives: (1) What do we study when we study multisensory awareness? (2) What is the relationship between multisensory integration and perceptual awareness? (3) Which experimental approaches are most promising to characterize multisensory awareness? We hope that this review paper will provoke lively discussions, novel experiments, and conceptual considerations to advance our understanding of the multifaceted interplay between multisensory integration and consciousness...
2016: Multisensory Research
Yasmina Jraissati, Nadiya Slobodenyuk, Ali Kanso, Lama Ghanem, Imad Elhajj
Cross-modal associations refer to non-arbitrary associations of features across sensory modalities. Such associations have been observed between many different sensory features. One association that has rarely been studied so far is between touch and color. In this study, participants were asked to match tactile and haptic adjectives to color samples shown individually on a screen. They could select one to 11 tactile and haptic terms, presented in 11 pairs of opposed adjectives. The results showed a regular pattern in the way tactile and haptic terms were matched to color...
2016: Multisensory Research
Tessa M van Leeuwen, Mark Dingemanse, Büşra Todil, Amira Agameya, Asifa Majid
Numerous studies demonstrate people associate colors with letters and numbers in systematic ways. But most of these studies rely on speakers of English, or closely related languages. This makes it difficult to know how generalizable these findings are, or what factors might underlie these associations. We investigated letter-color and number-color associations in Arabic speakers, who have a different writing system and unusual word structure compared to Standard Average European languages. We also aimed to identify grapheme-color synaesthetes (people who have conscious color experiences with letters and numbers)...
2016: Multisensory Research
Carlos Velasco, Andy Woods, Jason Liu, Charles Spence
Taste liking influences the way in which people match tastes to shapes. However, taste-shape matching cannot be explained entirely by taste hedonics. Here, we assess whether variations in taste intensity influence such crossmodal correspondences. Participants were presented with five basic tastants in two concentrations and had to rate them on roundness/angularity shape scales, as well as in terms of liking, and intensity. The results revealed that taste quality, intensity, and participants' liking of the taste significantly predicted the roundness/angularity of the tastants...
2016: Multisensory Research
Qian Wang, Charles Spence
We report two experiments designed to investigate the consequences of manipulating the harmonic content of background music on taste perception. The participants in the present study evaluated samples of mixed fruit juice whilst listening to soundtracks that had either been harmonised with consonant or dissonant musical intervals. Each sample of juice was rated on three computer-based scales: One scale was anchored with the words sour and sweet, while the other two scales involved hedonic ratings of the music and of the juice...
2016: Multisensory Research
Stephen E Palmer, Thomas A Langlois, Karen B Schloss
Prior research has shown that non-synesthetes' color associations to classical orchestral music are strongly mediated by emotion. The present study examines similar cross-modal music-to-color associations for much better controlled musical stimuli: 64 single-line piano melodies that were generated from four basic melodies by Mozart, whose global musical parameters were manipulated in tempo(slow/fast), note-density (sparse/dense), mode (major/minor) and pitch-height (low/high). Participants first chose the three colors (from 37) that they judged to be most consistent with (and, later, the three that were most inconsistent with) the music they were hearing...
2016: Multisensory Research
Roberta Etzi, Charles Spence, Massimiliano Zampini, Alberto Gallace
Over the last decade, scientists working on the topic of multisensory integration, as well as designers and marketers involved in trying to understand consumer behavior, have become increasingly interested in the non-arbitrary associations (e.g., sound symbolism) between different sensorial attributes of the stimuli they work with. Nevertheless, to date, little research in this area has investigated the presence of these crossmodal correspondences in the tactile evaluation of everyday materials. Here, we explore the presence and nature of the associations between tactile sensations, the sound of non-words, and people's emotional states...
2016: Multisensory Research
Michael J Carnevale, Laurence R Harris
Low- and high-pitched sounds are perceptually associated with low and high visuospatial elevations, respectively. The spatial properties of this association are not well understood. Here we report two experiments that investigated whether low and high tones can be used as spatial cues to upright for self-orientation and identified the spatial frame(s) of reference used in perceptually binding auditory pitch to visuospatial 'up' and 'down'. In experiment 1, participants' perceptual upright (PU) was measured while lying on their right side with and without high- and low-pitched sounds played through speakers above their left ear and below their right ear...
2016: Multisensory Research
Elena Nava, Massimo Grassi, Chiara Turati
Interest in crossmodal correspondences has recently seen a renaissance thanks to numerous studies in human adults. Yet, still very little is known about crossmodal correspondences in children, particularly in sensory pairings other than audition and vision. In the current study, we investigated whether 4-5-year-old children match auditory pitch to the spatial motion of visual objects (audio-visual condition). In addition, we investigated whether this correspondence extends to touch, i.e., whether children also match auditory pitch to the spatial motion of touch (audio-tactile condition) and the spatial motion of visual objects to touch (visuo-tactile condition)...
2016: Multisensory Research
Victoria F Ratcliffe, Anna M Taylor, David Reby
For both humans and other animals, the ability to combine information obtained through different senses is fundamental to the perception of the environment. It is well established that humans form systematic cross-modal correspondences between stimulus features that can facilitate the accurate combination of sensory percepts. However, the evolutionary origins of the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms involved in these cross-modal associations remain surprisingly underexplored. In this review we outline recent comparative studies investigating how non-human mammals naturally combine information encoded in different sensory modalities during communication...
2016: Multisensory Research
Ophelia Deroy, Charles Spence
The renewed interest that has emerged around the topic of crossmodal correspondences in recent years has demonstrated that crossmodal matchings and mappings exist between the majority of sensory dimensions, and across all combinations of sensory modalities. This renewed interest also offers a rapidly-growing list of ways in which correspondences affect--or interact with--metaphorical understanding, feelings of 'knowing', behavioral tasks, learning, mental imagery, and perceptual experiences. Here we highlight why, more generally, crossmodal correspondences matter to theories of multisensory interactions...
2016: Multisensory Research
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