Title: Attention, Causal Inference and the Visual-Tactile Ventriloquist Effect and After-Effect

Speaker: Dr. Michael Landy, Dept. of Psychology, New York University

Time: 10:00-11:30, December 24, 2019

Location: Room 1113, Wang Kezhen Building


We tested experimentally whether task-enforced shared attention toward visual and tactile stimulus locations fosters cross-modal recalibration (the visual-tactile ventriloquism aftereffect) and integration (the visual-tactile ventriloquism effect), and then used causal-inference modeling to isolate the mechanisms behind the attentional modulation. Shared attention toward both modalities was enforced by cueing the response-relevant modality after the stimulus pair had been presented. In contrast, cues to the response-relevant modality presented before the stimulus allowed for modality-specific attention. Model comparison confirmed that localization responses were based on Bayes-optimal causal inference. In contrast, simultaneously collected unity judgments (indicating whether the two stimuli were perceived as spatially-aligned) relied on a sub-optimal heuristic. Attention modulated sensory and cognitive components of causal inference. Shared attention led to an increase of sensory noise and strengthened the stimulus-independent expectation of correspondence between the two signals.

Host: Dr. Hang Zhang