Alais D, Parker A, Boxtel J, Paffen C, Ee R, 2007, "Attending to auditory signals slows binocular rivalry" Perception 36 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Attending to auditory signals slows binocular rivalry
D Alais, A Parker, J Boxtel, C Paffen, R Ee
Diverting attention to a competing visual distractor task slows binocular rivalry alternations. Here we test whether competing auditory tasks also slow rivalry. The distractor task was a 500 Hz amplitude modulated tone with intermittent intensity pulses. In a signal-detection paradigm, a brief auditory cue was presented and subjects indicated whether or not an intensity pulse had just occurred. We calculated d'. Two levels of task difficulty were used, and two kinds of perceptual alternations: rivaling orthogonal gratings, and a Necker cube. Observers tracked alternations for 6 min while doing the distractor task. The distractor slowed alternation rates for both kinds of stimuli. The effect was stronger for the Necker cube, and was stronger for the more difficult distractor task. Tracking of pseudo-rivalry alternations confirmed that the slower reversal rate was not due to missed alternations while doing the distractor task. Perceptual alternation rate is therefore partially determined by attentional resources and will slow when attention is diverted. These resources appear to be central and supramodal.
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