Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 70, Issue 7, pp 1207–1216

Auditory and visual attention-based apparent motion share functional parallels


    • Department of Human Movement SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin
  • James W. Lewis
    • West Virginia University
  • Raymond E. Phinney
    • Wheaton College
  • Edgar A. DeYoe
    • Medical College of Wisconsin

DOI: 10.3758/PP.70.7.1207

Cite this article as:
Huddleston, W.E., Lewis, J.W., Phinney, R.E. et al. Perception & Psychophysics (2008) 70: 1207. doi:10.3758/PP.70.7.1207


A perception of coherent motion can be obtained in an otherwise ambiguous or illusory visual display by directing one's attention to a feature and tracking it. We demonstrate an analogous auditory effect in two separate sets of experiments. The temporal dynamics associated with the attention-dependent auditory motion closely matched those previously reported for attention-based visual motion. Since attention-based motion mechanisms appear to exist in both modalities, we also tested for multimodal (audiovisual) attention-based motion, using stimuli composed of interleaved visual and auditory cues. Although subjects were able to track a trajectory using cues from both modalities, no one spontaneously perceived (“multimodal motion”) across both visual and auditory cues. Rather, they reported motion perception only within each modality, thereby revealing a spatiotemporal limit on putative cross-modal motion integration. Together, results from these experiments demonstrate the existence of attention-based motion in audition, extending current theories of attention-based mechanisms from visual to auditory systems.

Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008