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Neil R. Harrison, Sophie M. Wuerger, Georg F. Meyer; Reaction time facilitation for horizontally moving auditory–visual stimuli. Journal of Vision 2010;10(14):16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/10.14.16.
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For moving targets, bimodal facilitation of reaction time has been observed for motion in the depth plane (C. Cappe, G. Thut, B. Romei, & M. M. Murray, 2009), but it is unclear whether analogous RT facilitation is observed for auditory–visual motion stimuli in the horizontal plane, as perception of horizontal motion relies on very different cues. Here we found that bimodal motion cues resulted in significant RT facilitation at threshold level, which could not be explained using an independent decisions model (race model). Bimodal facilitation was observed at suprathreshold levels when the RTs for suprathreshold unimodal stimuli were roughly equated, and significant RT gains were observed for direction-discrimination tasks with abrupt-onset motion stimuli and with motion preceded by a stationary phase. We found no speeded responses for bimodal signals when a motion signal in one modality was paired with a spatially co-localized stationary signal in the other modality, but faster response times could be explained by statistical facilitation when the motion signals traveled in opposite directions. These results strongly suggest that integration of motion cues led to the speeded bimodal responses. Finally, our results highlight the importance of matching the unimodal reaction times to obtain response facilitation for bimodal motion signals in the linear plane.
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