August 2010
Volume 10, Issue 7
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2010
The role of ageing on searching for a multisensory object in 3-dimensional arrays
Author Affiliations
  • Annalisa Setti
    Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin
    School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
  • Jason S. Chan
    Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin
    School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
  • Corrina Maguinness
    Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin
    School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
  • Kate E. Burke
    Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin
    School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
  • RoseAnne Kenny
    Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin
    Department of Medical Geronotology, Trinity College Dublin
  • Fiona N. Newell
    Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin
    School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
Journal of Vision August 2010, Vol.10, 483. doi:10.1167/10.7.483
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      Annalisa Setti, Jason S. Chan, Corrina Maguinness, Kate E. Burke, RoseAnne Kenny, Fiona N. Newell; The role of ageing on searching for a multisensory object in 3-dimensional arrays. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):483. doi: 10.1167/10.7.483.

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

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Abstract

With ageing sensory acuity declines, however, recent studies suggest that perception is compensated by combining inputs from across the various senses [Laurienti, et al., 2006]. However, perception can be compromised when unrelated sensory information is combined across the senses [Poliakoff et al., 2006]. What is not known is how efficient is multisensory integration in older adults when the task is to search for an object in a large spatial array. In a task involving visual target localisation, we investigated whether an auditory stimulus presented from the same location improves performance relative to a visual-only condition and whether an auditory target presented to a different location (left or right, in front or behind) to the visual target compromises performance. We also tested whether these effects were more pronounced in older than younger adults. In Experiment 1, we manipulated the spatial congruency between the auditory and visual events along the depth plane (z-axis) and in Experiment 2 along the horizontal plane (x-axis). Overall, performance was worse for older than younger adults in both experiments. In particular, performance in the older adults group did not benefit from spatial congruency between the visual target and the auditory non target, but it was hindered by a sound coming from a spatially incongruent depth location. Conversely, in Exp.2 no detrimental effect of a spatially incongruent sound on the horizontal plane was found in the older adult group suggesting that visuo-spatial processing is not affected by sounds mislocated to the left or right. These results show that when auditory and visual stimuli are available older adults may integrate unreliable auditory inputs to perform a visual task, in particular along the depth plane. These findings support the idea that multisensory integration is enhanced in older relative to younger adults.

Setti, A. Chan, J. S. Maguinness, C. Burke, K. E. Kenny, R. Newell, F. N. (2010). The role of ageing on searching for a multisensory object in 3-dimensional arrays [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 10(7):483, 483a, http://www.journalofvision.org/content/10/7/483, doi:10.1167/10.7.483. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 This research was completed as part of a wider programme of research within the TRIL Centre, (Technology Research for Independent Living). The TRIL Centre is a multi-disciplinary research centre, bringing together researchers from UCD, TCD, NUIG and Intel, funded by Intel and IDA Ireland. www.trilcentre.org.
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