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Haptic and Auditory–Haptic Attentional Blink in Spatial and Object-Based Tasks

In: Multisensory Research
Authors:
Pei-Luen Patrick RauDepartment of Industrial Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

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Jian ZhengDepartment of Industrial Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

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Lijun WangState Key Lab of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems, Beihang University, Beijing, China

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Jingyu ZhaoDepartment of Industrial Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

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Dangxiao WangState Key Lab of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems, Beihang University, Beijing, China
Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Biomedical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China
Peng Cheng Laboratory (PCL), Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China

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Abstract

Dual-task performance depends on both modalities (e.g., vision, audition, haptics) and task types (spatial or object-based), and the order by which different task types are organized. Previous studies on haptic and especially auditory–haptic attentional blink (AB) are scarce, and the effect of task types and their order have not been fully explored. In this study, 96 participants, divided into four groups of task type combinations, identified auditory or haptic Target 1 (T1) and haptic Target 2 (T2) in rapid series of sounds and forces. We observed a haptic AB (i.e., the accuracy of identifying T2 increased with increasing stimulus onset asynchrony between T1 and T2) in spatial, object-based, and object–spatial tasks, but not in spatial–object task. Changing the modality of an object-based T1 from haptics to audition eliminated the AB, but similar haptic-to-auditory change of the modality of a spatial T1 had no effect on the AB (if it exists). Our findings fill a gap in the literature regarding the auditory–haptic AB, and substantiate the importance of modalities, task types and their order, and the interaction between them. These findings were explained by how the cerebral cortex is organized for processing spatial and object-based information in different modalities.

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