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Philip M. Grove, Jessica Ashton, Yousuke Kawachi, Kenzo Sakurai; Auditory transients do not affect visual sensitivity in discriminating between objective streaming and bouncing events. Journal of Vision 2012;12(8):5. doi: 10.1167/12.8.5.
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Withfew exceptions, the sound-induced bias toward bouncing characteristic of the stream/bounce effect has been demonstrated via subjective responses, leaving open the question whether perceptual factors, decisional factors, or some combination of the two underlie the illusion. We addressed this issue directly, using a novel stimulus and signal detection theory to independently characterize observers' sensitivity (d′) and criterion (c) when discriminating between objective streaming and bouncing events in the presence or absence of a brief sound at the point of coincidence. We first confirmed that sound-induced motion reversals persist despite rendering the targets visually distinguishable by differences in texture density. Sound-induced bouncing persisted for targets differing by as many as nine just-noticeable-differences (JNDs).We then exploited this finding in our signal detection paradigm in which observers discriminated between objective streaming and bouncing events. We failed to find any difference in sensitivity (d′) between sound and no-sound conditions, but we did observe a significantly more liberal criterion (c) in the sound condition than the no-sound condition. The results suggest that the auditory-induced bias toward bouncing in this context is attributable to a sound-induced shift in criterion implicating decisional processes rather than perceptual processes determining responses to these displays.
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