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  Acoustic Noise Improves Visual Perception and Modulates Occipital Oscillatory States

Gleiss, S., & Kayser, C. (2014). Acoustic Noise Improves Visual Perception and Modulates Occipital Oscillatory States. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(4), 699-711. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00524.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-802D-C Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-C5E6-8
Genre: Journal Article

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Gleiss, S1, 2, Author              
Kayser, C1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              
2Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497798              

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 Abstract: Perception is a multisensory process, and previous work has shown that multisensory interactions occur not only for object-related stimuli but also for simplistic and apparently unrelated inputs to the different senses. We here compare the facilitation of visual perception induced by transient (target-synchronized) sounds to the facilitation provided by continuous background noise like sounds. Specifically, we show that continuous acoustic noise improves visual contrast detection by systematically shifting psychometric curves in an amplitude-dependent manner. This multisensory benefit was found to be both qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that induced by a transient and target synchronized sound in the same paradigm. Studying the underlying neural mechanisms using electric neuroimaging (EEG), we found that acoustic noise alters occipital alpha (8ndash;12 Hz) power and decreases beta-band (14ndash;20 Hz) coupling of occipital and temporal sites. Task-irrelevant and continuous sounds thereby have an amplitude-dependent effect on cortical mechanisms implicated in shaping visual cortical excitability. The same oscillatory mechanisms also mediate visual facilitation by transient sounds, and our results suggest that task-related sounds and task-irrelevant background noises could induce perceptually and mechanistically similar enhancement of visual perception. Given the omnipresence of sounds and noises in our environment, such multisensory interactions may affect perception in many everyday scenarios.

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 Dates: 2014-04
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00524
BibTex Citekey: GleissK2013_2
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Title: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 26 (4) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 699 - 711 Identifier: -