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Poke and pop : Tactile-visual synchrony increases visual saliency

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Author: Burg, E. van der · Olivers, C.N.L. · Bronkhorst, A.W. · Theeuwes, J.
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:Neuroscience Letters, 1, 450, 60 - 64
Identifier: 181251
doi: doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2008.11.002
Keywords: Perception · Attention · Multisensory integration · Pip and pop effect · Touch · Vision · adolescent · adult · article · color vision · environment · eye movement · female · human · male · priority journal · touch · vision · visual orientation · visual stimulation · Adolescent · Analysis of Variance · Attention · Female · Humans · Male · Photic Stimulation · Physical Stimulation · Reaction Time · Task Performance and Analysis · Touch Perception · Visual Perception · Young Adult


The majority of studies investigating interactions between vision and touch have typically explored single events, presenting one object at a time. The present study investigates how tactile-visual interactions affect competition between multiple visual objects in more dynamic cluttered environments. Participants searched for a horizontal or vertical line segment among distractor line segments of various orientations, all continuously changing color. Search times and search slopes were substantially reduced when the target color change was accompanied by a tactile signal. These benefits were observed even though the tactile signal was uninformative about the location, orientation, or color of the visual target. We conclude that tactile-visual synchrony guides attention in multiple object environments by increasing the saliency of the visual event. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.