September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
Lights can reverse auditory localization
Author Affiliations
  • James Schirillo
    Dept of Psychology Wake Forest University
  • Ashley Mays
    Dept of Psychology Wake Forest University
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 879. doi:
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      James Schirillo, Ashley Mays; Lights can reverse auditory localization. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):879.

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

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Adding brief flashes of light to a series of auditory click-pairs (Hari, 1995) alters their perceived location. Observers listened over headphones to eight click-pairs (i.e., 4 left-ear leading then 4 right-ear leading) separated by several ISI's, then reported the perceived location of each click-pair within the head. In three related experiments, flashing a light(s) leftward on a CRT screen during specific temporally coincident click-pairs made observers report the location of the sounds in roughly equally spaced steps from left-to-right through the head. In contrast, clicks originating rightward either minimized this rating scale range, or in some cases, went so far as to reverse it, so that the sound appeared to originate rightward and shift leftward. This multimodal effect occurs although the light was external to the head while the headphone sounds occurred within the head.


R. Hari. (1995). Illusory directional hearing in humans. Neuroscience Letters, 189, 29-30.

Schirillo, J. Mays, A. (2005). Lights can reverse auditory localization [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):879, 879a,, doi:10.1167/5.8.879. [CrossRef]

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