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Publication Detail
Training enhances the ability of listeners to exploit visual information for auditory scene analysis.
Abstract
The ability to use temporal relationships between cross-modal cues facilitates perception and behavior. Previously we observed that temporally correlated changes in the size of a visual stimulus and the intensity in an auditory stimulus influenced the ability of listeners to perform an auditory selective attention task (Maddox, Atilgan, Bizley, & Lee, 2015). Participants detected timbral changes in a target sound while ignoring those in a simultaneously presented masker. When the visual stimulus was temporally coherent with the target sound, performance was significantly better than when the visual stimulus was temporally coherent with the masker, despite the visual stimulus conveying no task-relevant information. Here, we trained observers to detect audiovisual temporal coherence and asked whether this changed the way in which they were able to exploit visual information in the auditory selective attention task. We observed that after training, participants were able to benefit from temporal coherence between the visual stimulus and both the target and masker streams, relative to the condition in which the visual stimulus was coherent with neither sound. However, we did not observe such changes in a second group that were trained to discriminate modulation rate differences between temporally coherent audiovisual streams, although they did show an improvement in their overall performance. A control group did not change their performance between pretest and post-test and did not change how they exploited visual information. These results provide insights into how crossmodal experience may optimize multisensory integration.
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