Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 382–387

Is cross-modal integration of emotional expressions independent of attentional resources?


DOI: 10.3758/CABN.1.4.382

Cite this article as:
Vroomen, J., Driver, J. & Gelder, B.D. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience (2001) 1: 382. doi:10.3758/CABN.1.4.382


In this study, we examined whether integration of visual and auditory information about emotions requires limited attentional resources. Subjects judged whether a voice expressed happiness or fear, while trying to ignore a concurrently presented static facial expression. As an additional task, the subjects had to add two numbers together rapidly (Experiment 1), count the occurrences of a target digit in a rapid serial visual presentation (Experiment 2), or judge the pitch of a tone as high or low (Experiment 3). The visible face had an impact on judgments of the emotion of the heard voice in all the experiments. This cross-modal effect was independent of whether or not the subjects performed a demanding additional task. This suggests that integration of visual and auditory information about emotions may be a mandatory process, unconstrained by attentional resources.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University CollegeLondonEngland

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