Auditory Stimulus Detection Partially Depends on Visuospatial Attentional Resources

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Title: Auditory Stimulus Detection Partially Depends on Visuospatial Attentional Resources
Authors: Wahn, Basil
Murali, Supriya
Sinnett, Scott
König, Peter
Abstract: Humans’ ability to detect relevant sensory information while being engaged in a demanding task is crucial in daily life. Yet, limited attentional resources restrict information processing. To date, it is still debated whether there are distinct pools of attentional resources for each sensory modality and to what extent the process of multisensory integration is dependent on attentional resources. We addressed these two questions using a dual task paradigm. Specifically, participants performed a multiple object tracking task and a detection task either separately or simultaneously. In the detection task, participants were required to detect visual, auditory, or audiovisual stimuli at varying stimulus intensities that were adjusted using a staircase procedure. We found that tasks significantly interfered. However, the interference was about 50% lower when tasks were performed in separate sensory modalities than in the same sensory modality, suggesting that attentional resources are partly shared. Moreover, we found that perceptual sensitivities were significantly improved for audiovisual stimuli relative to unisensory stimuli regardless of whether attentional resources were diverted to the multiple object tracking task or not. Overall, the present study supports the view that attentional resource allocation in multisensory processing is task- dependent and suggests that multisensory benefits are not dependent on attentional resources.
Citations: i-Perception 2017. Sage
Subject Keywords: Attentional resources; mutisensory processing; vision; audition; multiple object tracking; multisensory integration; load theory
Issue Date: 2-May-2018
License name: Namensnennung 3.0 Unported
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Type of publication: Einzelbeitrag in einer wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift [article]
Appears in Collections:FB08 - Hochschulschriften

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