Optimal Audiovisual Integration in People with One Eye

in Multisensory Research
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People with one eye show altered sensory processing. Such changes might reflect a central re-weighting of sensory information that might impact on how multisensory cues are integrated. We assessed whether people who lost an eye early in life differ from controls with respect to audiovisual integration. In order to quantify the relative weightings assigned to each sensory system, participants were asked to spatially localize audiovisual events that have been previously shown to be optimally combined and perceptually fused from the point of view of location in a normal population, where the auditory and visual components were spatially disparate. There was no difference in the variability of localizing unimodal visual and auditory targets by people with one eye compared to controls. People with one eye did however, demonstrate slower reaction times to localize visual stimuli compared to auditory stimuli and were slower than binocular and eye-patched control groups. When localizing bimodal targets, the weightings assigned to each sensory modality in both people with one eye and controls were predictable from their unimodal performance, in accordance with Maximum Likelihood Estimation and the time it took all three groups to localize the bimodal targets was faster than for vision alone. Regardless of demonstrating a longer response time to visual stimuli, people with one eye appear to integrate the auditory and visual components of multisensory events optimally when determining spatial location.

Optimal Audiovisual Integration in People with One Eye

in Multisensory Research

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Figures

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    A schematic illustration of the stimulus timeline for each trial type. Participants were asked to indicate in which of the two intervals the stimulus appeared more leftward. Unimodal visual, unimodal auditory and bimodal trials were presented in separate blocks.

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    Typical examples of the proportion perceived left of center of unimodal auditory (filled circles) and visual (open circles) stimuli plotted as a function of displacement. (a) A control participant viewing binocularly (BV); (b) the same control participant with one eye patched (MV) and (c) a person with one eye (ME). The lines fit through the data are best-fit cumulative Gaussian psychometric functions (auditory solid, visual dotted).

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    (A) Proportion of bimodal trials localized left of the central reference stimulus for each conflict condition for a typical control participant viewing binocularly (BV) and with one eye patched (MV), and a person with one eye (ME) plotted as a function of displacement. The lines fit through the data are cumulative Gaussian psychometric functions (see methods). 0° displacement: filled circle and solid line, visual displacement 2.5° to the right: open triangle and short dashed line, visual displacement 2.5° to the left: open square and dash-dot line, visual displacement 5° to the right: open diamond and long dash line, visual displacement 5° to the left: open circle and dotted line. (B) Plot of the PSE as a function of the visual displacement of the conflicting stimuli for the same participants shown in (A). A linear regression line is plotted for each graph (solid line). A slope of 1 would indicate that the participant followed the visual component exclusively (visual dominance, dark grey dotted line) while a slope of −1 would indicate auditory dominance (light grey dotted line) (see text).

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    Response latency for unimodal and bimodal (collapsed across displacement condition) localization for control participants viewing binocularly (BV) and with one eye patched (MV), and people with one eye (ME). Error bars indicate Standard Errors. Asterisks show significant differences at the p<0.05 (*), 0.01 (**) and 0.001 (***) levels.

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    Actual versus predicted ratio of auditory and visual weightings (slopes — see results) for bimodal trials for each participant: Binocular (BV) controls (black circles); eye-patched (MV) controls (grey circles); and people with one eye (ME) (white circles). The grey dashed line represents a slope of unity for equal actual and predicted values.

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    Variances for each participant group for all conditions and the bimodal variance predicted by Maximum Likelihood Estimation (see key insert). The bimodal variance is averaged across all conflict displacements. Error bars represent standard errors.

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