Semantic Apparatus – Semantic and spatial congruency mould audiovisual integration depending on perceptual awareness

Cited by Lee Sonogan

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Abstract by Patrycja Delong &Uta Noppeney 

Information integration is considered a hallmark of human consciousness. Recent research has challenged this tenet by showing multisensory interactions in the absence of awareness. This psychophysics study assessed the impact of spatial and semantic correspondences on audiovisual binding in the presence and absence of visual awareness by combining forward–backward masking with spatial ventriloquism. Observers were presented with object pictures and synchronous sounds that were spatially and/or semantically congruent or incongruent. On each trial observers located the sound, identified the picture and rated the picture’s visibility. We observed a robust ventriloquist effect for subjectively visible and invisible pictures indicating that pictures that evade our perceptual awareness influence where we perceive sounds. Critically, semantic congruency enhanced these visual biases on perceived sound location only when the picture entered observers’ awareness. Our results demonstrate that crossmodal influences operating from vision to audition and vice versa are interactively controlled by spatial and semantic congruency in the presence of awareness. However, when visual processing is disrupted by masking procedures audiovisual interactions no longer depend on semantic correspondences.

Publication: Scientific Reports (Peer-Review Journals)

Pub Date: 25 May 2021 Doi: (Plenty more sections, figures and references in this article)

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