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Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 161–168 | Cite as

On the nature of intersensory facilitation of reaction time

  • Stan C. A. M. Gielen
  • Richard A. Schmidt
  • Pieter J. M. Van Den Heuvel
Article

Abstract

Two experiments examined the RT to visual stimuli presented alone and when either auditory (Experiment 1) or kinesthetic (Experiment 2) stimuli followed the visual event by 50 or 65 msec, respectively. As has been found before, the RT to combined stimulus events was 20 to 40 msec shorter than to visual events alone. While such results have generally been interpreted to mean that two sensory modalities are interacting, Raab’s (1962) hypothesis of statistical facilitation— that the subject responds to that stimulus modality whose processing is completed first—is also possible. Using Raab’s model, but with relaxed assumptions, the present experiments show that RT to combined stimulus events is more rapid than can be accounted for by statistical facilitation. Therefore, some intersensory interaction was probably occurring. The nature of these possible interactions and the status of the statistical-facilitation hypothesis are discussed. Supported in part by Grant BNS 80–23125 from the National Science Foundation to the second author.

Keywords

Choice Reaction Time Catch Trial Stimulus Modality Imperative Stimulus Statistical Facilitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Reference Notes

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    Erkelens, C. Unpublished data,Faculty of Dentistry, Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht, 1981.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schmidt, R. A., Gielen, S. C. A. M., & van den Heuvel, P. J. M.On the locus of intersensory facilitation of reaction time. Manuscript submitted for publication May 1983.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gielen, S. C. A. M., Schmidt, R. A., & van den Heuvel, P. J. M. Unpublished experiments, Department of Physiological and Medical Physics, Rijksuniversiteit, Utrecht, 1981.Google Scholar

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stan C. A. M. Gielen
    • 1
  • Richard A. Schmidt
    • 2
  • Pieter J. M. Van Den Heuvel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiological and Medical Physics at Rijksuniversiteit UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology at UCLAUSA

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