Purchase this article with an account.
Vivian Ciaramitaro, Karen Dobkins; The Development of Cross-Modal Attention: When can a sound impair visual detection?. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):887. doi: 10.1167/13.9.887.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous studies in adults suggest that auditory information can influence the detectability of visual information (for example, Stein et al., 1996; Lovelace et al., 2003; Oodgard et al., 2003; 3004). Little is known regarding the development of such influences. Here we investigate whether auditory cues can alter visual detectability in 3- and 6-month old infants. We used forced choice-preferential looking (FPL) to obtain contrast detection thresholds for a visual stimulus, a square (11x11[sup]0[/sup], centered 15[sup]0[/sup] left or right of monitor center. The visual stimulus fluctuated in luminance at 1 Hz, under four different auditory conditions: (1) IP: an auditory stimulus, white noise modulating in loudness at 1 Hz, fluctuated in-phase with the visual stimulus, (2) OP: the auditory stimulus fluctuated out-of-phase with the same visual stimulus, (3) NS: no auditory stimulus was presented, or (4) CS: a constant auditory stimulus was presented. The visual stimulus was presented at one of five contrasts, randomized across trials. Threshold was defined as the contrast yielding 75% correct performance in the FPL task. For each subject, visual thresholds were obtained for two of the four possible conditions, over the course of 2-3 days. If synchronized auditory information enhances visual detection, we expect lower contrast thresholds for the IP condition relative to the other conditions. Our data in 3- and 6-month-olds show that synchronized auditory information can worsen the detectability of visual stimuli near threshold. Such a counter-intuitive finding can be explained by the reallocation of cross-modal attention. If attention is a limited resource across modalities, a highly salient auditory stimulus can redirect attention away from a near-threshold visual stimulus, worsening visual detectability the most when visual and auditory information are changing in the same way over time (IP).
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only