August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Seeing is Hearing: Integration of attended visual stimuli influence ambiguous auditory rhythm perception
Author Affiliations
  • Leslie Kwakye
    Neuroscience Department, Oberlin College
  • Khalid Taylor
    Neuroscience Department, Oberlin College
  • Mathew DiBiase
    Neuroscience Department, Oberlin College
  • Juan Rodriguez
    Neuroscience Department, Oberlin College
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 150. doi:
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      Leslie Kwakye, Khalid Taylor, Mathew DiBiase, Juan Rodriguez; Seeing is Hearing: Integration of attended visual stimuli influence ambiguous auditory rhythm perception. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):150.

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

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We perceive and interact with the world around us through the integration of multisensory information. While music is often considered an auditory experience, visual input can influence musical perceptions particularly in the rhythmic domain. Previous research suggests that both visual and vestibular stimuli may influence participants' perceptions of simple auditory musical beats; however, no studies have investigated the effects of visual representations of musical beats on complex acoustic rhythmic sequences. In the current experiment, participants listened to multiple 6-beat rhythms that were not clearly within either march (couplings of two beats) or waltz (couplings of three beats) musical meters and reported how they felt the rhythm coupled the beats. These auditory sequences were either unambiguous (clearly march or waltz) or ambiguous (could be perceived as either march or waltz) and presented either without a visual stimulus, with a visual march (ball bouncing on every other beat), a visual waltz (ball bouncing on every third beat), or non-matching visual beat (ball bouncing on every fifth beat). Visual march and waltz stimuli shifted participants' reports of the auditory beat; however, not all auditory sequences were equally influenced by visual march and/or waltz stimuli. This suggests that unambiguous visual stimuli play a significant but complex role in perceiving rhythms, thus highlighting the multimodal experience of music. Future studies are needed to determine the influence of musical experience on audiovisual beat perception and the neural mechanisms of this audiovisual interaction.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016


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