Effects of Auditory Patterns on Judged Displacements of an Occluded Moving Object

in Multisensory Research
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Abstract

Using displays in which a moving disk disappeared behind an occluder, we examined whether an accompanying auditory rhythm influenced the perceived displacement of the disk during occlusion. We manipulated a baseline rhythm, comprising a relatively fast alternation of equal sound and pause durations. We had two different manipulations to create auditory sequences with a slower rhythm: either the pause durations or the sound durations were increased. In the trial, a disk moved at a constant speed, and at a certain point moved behind an occluder during which an auditory rhythm was played. Participants were instructed to track the occluded disk, and judge the expected position of the disk at the moment that the auditory rhythm ended by touching the judged position on a touch screen. We investigated the influence of the auditory rhythm, i.e., ratio of sound to pause duration, and the influence of auditory density, i.e., the number of sound onsets per time unit, on the judged distance. The results showed that the temporal characteristics affected the spatial judgments. Overall, we found that in the current paradigm relatively slow rhythms led to shorter judged distance as compared to relatively fast rhythms for both pause and sound variations. There was no main effect of auditory density on the judged distance of an expected visual event. That is, whereas the speed of the auditory rhythm appears crucial, the number of sound onsets per time unit as such, i.e., the auditory density, appears a much weaker factor.

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Multisensory Research

A Journal of Scientific Research on All Aspects of Multisensory Processing

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Figures

  • Oppel–Kundt illusion. Although similar in actual distance, the perceived distance between A and B is smaller than the perceived distance between B and C.

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  • A schematic representation of Experiment 1. Four displays of visual stimuli on the touch screen.

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  • Auditory stimuli and block design in Experiment 1. The schematic diagrams of auditory stimuli show the sound sequences that had either varied pause duration (block A) or sound duration (block B). The black rectangles represent sounds and the white spaces represent pauses.

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  • The JD/AD ratios as a function of rhythm of Experiment 1. Error bars indicate +/−1 SEM, and asterisks indicate significant differences (Bonferroni-corrected).

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  • The JD/AD ratios as a function of disk speed of Experiment 1. Error bars indicate +/−1 SEM, and asterisks indicate significant differences (Bonferroni-corrected).

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  • The JD/AD ratios as a function of rhythm and sequence length (6A) of Experiment 1. The JD/AD ratios as a function of rhythm and disk speed (6B) of Experiment 1. Error bars indicate +/−1 SEM.

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  • Auditory stimuli and block design in Experiment 2. The schematic diagrams of auditory stimuli show the sound sequences that had either varied pause duration (blocks A and C) or sound duration (blocks B and D). The black rectangles represent sounds and the white spaces represent pauses.

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  • The JD/AD ratios as a function of rhythm of Experiment 2. Error bars indicate +/−1 SEM, and asterisks indicate significant differences (Bonferroni-corrected).

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  • The JD/AD ratios as a function of auditory density and disk speed of Experiment 2. Error bars indicate +/−1 SEM.

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