Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Intersensory Facilitation

  • Hans Colonius
  • Adele Diederich
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_70

Synonyms

Definition

Intersensory facilitation occurs if the response to a stimulus, or a set of stimuli, from one sensory modality is in some way furthered by the concurrent stimulation of one or more other sensory modalities. The facilitation may manifest itself as: (1) a speed-up of reaction time, (2) a lowering of the sensory threshold for detection or discrimination of stimuli, or (3) an increase in the rate of recognition, identification, or classification of stimuli, or in particular stimulus qualities like loudness or brightness. Intersensory facilitation is part of a more general class of crossmodal phenomena including  intersensory suppression and crossmodal illusions like  ventriloquism.

Theoretical Background

Research on intersensory interaction and its underlying multisensory integration mechanisms has seen a tremendous increase over the last 20 years, spearheaded by neurophysiologists...

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References

  1. Diederich, A., & Colonius, H. (2004). Modeling the time course of multisensory interaction in manual and saccadic responses. In G. A. Calvert, C. Spence, & B. F. Stein (Eds.), The handbook of multisensory processes (pp. 395–408). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Hershenson, M. (1962). Reaction time as a measure of intersensory facilitation. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 289–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Marks, L. E. (1978). The unity of the senses: Interrelations among the modalities. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  4. Miller, J. (1982). Divided attention: Evidence for coactivation with redundant signals. Cognitive Psychology, 14, 247–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Stein, B. F., & Meredith, M. A. (1993). The merging of the senses. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Todd, J. W. (1912). Reaction to multiple stimuli. Archives of Psychology, 21(25), 1–65.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCarl von Ossietzky Universität OldenburgOldenburgGermany
  2. 2.Jacobs University BremenBremenGermany