Multisensory contributions to motion perception

Why should we trust our eyes more than our ears when crossing the street?

Image from Valjamae & Soto-Faraco, 2008

The ability to process motion is crucial for coherent perception and action. While the majority of studies have focused on the unimodal factors that influence motion perception, some researchers have also investigated the extent to which information presented in one sensory modality can affect the perception of motion for stimuli presented in another modality. Our Recent findings indicate that these interactions stand over-and-above the multisensory interactions documented previously for static stimuli, such as the oft-cited ‘ventriloquism’ effect. Neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies are also beginning to elucidate the network of neural structures responsible for the processing of motion information in the different sensory modalities, an important first step that will ultimately lead to the determination of the neural substrates underlying these multisensory contributions to motion perception. Once the phenomenon has been solidly established, our current work focuses on understanding the functional mechanisms underlying multisensory integration during motion perception.

Representative papers:

Väljamäe A, Soto-Faraco S.  2008.  Filling-in visual motion with sounds. Acta Psychologica. 129:249–54.

López-Moliner J, Soto-Faraco S.  2007.  Vision affects how fast we hear sounds move. Journal of vision. 7(12):6.1–7.