August 2009
Volume 9, Issue 8
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2009
Vision and audition do not share attentional resources in sustained tasks
Author Affiliations
  • Roberto Arrighi
    Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata (INOA), Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 6, Italy, and IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Calambrone (Pisa), viale del Tirreno 331, Italy
  • David Burr
    Facoltà di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, via S. Niccolò, 89, Italy, and IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Calambrone (Pisa), viale del Tirreno 331, Italy
Journal of Vision August 2009, Vol.9, 206. doi:10.1167/9.8.206
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      Roberto Arrighi, David Burr; Vision and audition do not share attentional resources in sustained tasks. Journal of Vision 2009;9(8):206. doi: 10.1167/9.8.206.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Our perceptual capacities are limited by attentional resources. One important question is whether these resources are allocated separately to each sense or shared between them. We addressed this issue by asking subjects to perform a double task, either in the same modality or in different modalities (vision and audition). The primary task was a motion object-tracking task (Pylyshyn & Storm, 1988), in which observers were required to track between 2–5 dots for 4 seconds. Concurrently, they were required to identify either which out of three gratings spaced over the interval differed in contrast or, in the auditory version of the same task, which tone differed in frequency relative to the two reference tones. The results show that while the concurrent visual contrast discrimination reduced tracking ability by about (1.5 d′), the concurrent auditory task had virtually no effect. This confirms previous reports that vision and audition use separate attentional resources, consistent with fMRI findings of attentional effects as early as V1 and A1. The results have clear implications for effective design of instrumentation and forms of audio-visual communication devices.

Arrighi, R. Burr, D. (2009). Vision and audition do not share attentional resources in sustained tasks [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 9(8):206, 206a, http://journalofvision.org/9/8/206/, doi:10.1167/9.8.206. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 Supported by Italian Ministry of Universities and Research, and EC projects “Memory” (FP6-NEST) and “STANIB” (FP7 ERC).
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