Visual and Auditory Velocity Perception and Multimodal Illusions
Gasaway, Katherine S.
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Although ambiguous and conflicting sensory information from different sensory modalities is common, people seldom experience perceptual ambiguities or conflict between senses. Just as the retinal nerve blind spot is filled in and seldom seen, conflicting or otherwise confusing sensory information is resolved in favor of the most appropriate modality, eliminating the confusion from conscious experience. The ventriloquism effect and auditory driving are two examples of perceptual phenomena arising from this sensory override. This research explores the hypothesis that velocity perception is subject to the same effects. Subjects were presented with two bimodal (auditory-visual) stimulus pairs and asked to determine which of the visual stimuli was moving faster. In a V2A2/V2A1 condition, participants responded significantly more frequently that the first visual stimulus was faster than in any non-target condition. This effect was not found for V2A2/V2A3 trials.