Exploring perception response to multisensory incompatibility effects

Abstract

This study examines how two sources of sensory information (vision and audition) interact to affect anticipatory judgements in an interception action task. Participants (n=12) predicted, by pressing a button, when a stimulus travelling at either a fast (224.13mm/s) or slow (113.49 mm/s) speed in a straight-line trajectory would enter a specified target zone. On each trial, the stimulus would disappear after either 33% or 66% of distance traveled from its start position. At the initiation of stimulus movement, a loud (70dB), soft (50db), or no (0db) burst of white noise was presented for 150 ms. Consistent with our hypotheses, Main Effects for stimulus Velocity (F(1,11)=1754.7, p.<0001) and Vision (F(1.11)=5.85, p.<.05) were revealed for measures of Constant Error suggesting that both play a role in perceptual judgement biases. Of greater interest, is the interaction of sound and vision (F(2,22)=25.05, p.<.0001). Specifically, when the loud initiation sound accompanied the 33% vision stimulus, overshoot bias was significantly reduced. Conversely, when the loud sound accompanied the 66% vision stimulus, overshoot bias increased (and vice versa). This suggests that in situations where visual information is less reliable, robust auditory information serves as a useful substitute. When, however, more vision is available, that same robust auditory information seems to interfere with perceptual judgements. These results are further discussed in terms of models of sensorimotor integration in action planning, as well as with respect to several recent studies examining the influence of noise on spatial accuracy judgements in tennis (e.g., Sinnett & Kingstone, 2010; CaƱal-Bruland, 2018).