The sound-induced flash illusion reveals dissociable age-related effects in multisensory integration.
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:McGovern DP, Roudaia E, Stapleton J, McGinnity TM, Newell FN, The sound-induced flash illusion reveals dissociable age-related effects in multisensory integration., Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 6, 2014, 250
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While aging can lead to significant declines in perceptual and cognitive function, the effects of age on multisensory integration, the process in which the brain combines information across the senses, are less clear. Recent reports suggest that older adults are susceptible to the sound-induced flash illusion (Shams et al., 2000) across a much wider range of temporal asynchronies than younger adults (Setti et al., 2011). To assess whether this cost for multisensory integration is a general phenomenon of combining asynchronous audiovisual input, we compared the time courses of two variants of the sound-induced flash illusion in young and older adults: the fission illusion, where one flash accompanied by two beeps appears as two flashes, and the fusion illusion, where two flashes accompanied by one beep appear as one flash. Twenty-five younger (18-30 years) and older (65+ years) adults were required to report whether they perceived one or two flashes, whilst ignoring irrelevant auditory beeps, in bimodal trials where auditory and visual stimuli were separated by one of six stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). There was a marked difference in the pattern of results for the two variants of the illusion. In conditions known to produce the fission illusion, older adults were significantly more susceptible to the illusion at longer SOAs compared to younger participants. In contrast, the performance of the younger and older groups was almost identical in conditions known to produce the fusion illusion. This surprising difference between sound-induced fission and fusion in older adults suggests dissociable age-related effects in multisensory integration, consistent with the idea that these illusions are mediated by distinct neural mechanisms.
Irish Research Council (IRC)
Author: NEWELL, FIONA
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Frontiers in aging neuroscience
Availability:Full text available
Keywords:time window of integration, sound-induced flash illusion, perception, multisensory integration, aging;