Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 70, Issue 7, pp 1207–1216

Auditory and visual attention-based apparent motion share functional parallels

  • Wendy E. Huddleston
  • James W. Lewis
  • Raymond E. Phinney
  • Edgar A. DeYoe

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.

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy E. Huddleston
    • 1
  • James W. Lewis
    • 2
  • Raymond E. Phinney
    • 3
  • Edgar A. DeYoe
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Human Movement SciencesUniversity of WisconsinMilwaukee
  2. 2.West Virginia UniversityMorgantown
  3. 3.Wheaton CollegeWheaton
  4. 4.Medical College of WisconsinMilwaukee

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