Research Article

Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 147, Issue 3, pp 332-343

First online:

Enhancement of visual perception by crossmodal visuo-auditory interaction

  • Francesca FrassinettiAffiliated withDipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat, 5-40127 Bologna, Italy
  • , Nadia BologniniAffiliated withDipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat, 5-40127 Bologna, Italy
  • , Elisabetta LàdavasAffiliated withDipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat, 5-40127 Bologna, Italy

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Abstract.

Neurophysiological studies have shown in animals that a sudden sound enhanced perceptual processing of subsequent visual stimuli. In the present study, we explored the possibility that such enhancement also exists in humans and can be explained through crossmodal integration effects, whereby the interaction occurs at the level of bimodal neurons. Subjects were required to detect visual stimuli in a unimodal visual condition or in crossmodal audio-visual conditions. The spatial and the temporal proximity of multisensory stimuli were systematically varied. An enhancement of the perceptual sensitivity (d') for luminance detection was found when the audiovisual stimuli followed a rather clear spatial and temporal rule, governing multisensory integration at the neuronal level.

Crossmodal integration Visual-acoustic interaction Perceptual sensitivity