, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 55-60

The “ventriloquist effect”: Visual dominance or response bias?


The interaction between vision and audition was investigated using a signal detection method. A light and tone were presented either in the same location or in different locations along the horizontal plane, and the subjects responded with same-different judgments of stimulus location. Three modes of stimulus presentation were used: simultaneous presentation of the light and tone, tone first, and light first. For the latter two conditions, the interstimulus interval was either 0.7 or 2.0 sec. A statistical decision model was developed which distinguished between the perceptual and decision processes. The results analyzed within the framework of this model suggested that the apparent interaction between vision and audition is due to shifts in decision criteria rather than perceptual change.

This research was supported in part by funds from Biomedical Sciences Support Grant RR-07037 from the National Institutes of Health, a University of Kansas General Research Grant, and Grant MH 24631-01 from the National Institute of Mental Health to the fourth author.