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Spatiotemporal integration of looming visual and tactile stimuli near the face

Huang, R-S; Chen, C-F; Sereno, MI; (2018) Spatiotemporal integration of looming visual and tactile stimuli near the face. Human Brain Mapping , 39 (5) pp. 2156-2176. 10.1002/hbm.23995. Green open access

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Abstract

Real‐world objects approaching or passing by an observer often generate visual, auditory, and tactile signals with different onsets and durations. Prompt detection and avoidance of an impending threat depend on precise binding of looming signals across modalities. Here we constructed a multisensory apparatus to study the spatiotemporal integration of looming visual and tactile stimuli near the face. In a psychophysical experiment, subjects assessed the subjective synchrony between a looming ball and an air puff delivered to the same side of the face with a varying temporal offset. Multisensory stimuli with similar onset times were perceived as completely out of sync and assessed with the lowest subjective synchrony index (SSI). Across subjects, the SSI peaked at an offset between 800 and 1,000 ms, where the multisensory stimuli were perceived as optimally in sync. In an fMRI experiment, tactile, visual, tactile‐visual out‐of‐sync (TVoS), and tactile‐visual in‐sync (TViS) stimuli were delivered to either side of the face in randomized events. Group‐average statistical responses to different stimuli were compared within each surface‐based region of interest (sROI) outlined on the cortical surface. Most sROIs showed a preference for contralateral stimuli and higher responses to multisensory than unisensory stimuli. In several bilateral sROIs, particularly the human MT+ complex and V6A, responses to spatially aligned multisensory stimuli (TVoS) were further enhanced when the stimuli were in‐sync (TViS), as expressed by TVoS < TViS. This study demonstrates the perceptual and neural mechanisms of multisensory integration near the face, which has potential applications in the development of multisensory entertainment systems and media.

Type: Article
Title: Spatiotemporal integration of looming visual and tactile stimuli near the face
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23995
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.23995
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Neurosciences, Neuroimaging, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging, Neurosciences & Neurology, approaching threats, binding problem, 4D film, fMRI, neurocinematics, multisensory integration, peripersonal space, psychophysics, VENTRAL INTRAPARIETAL AREA, SUPERIOR TEMPORAL SULCUS, PERSONAL-SPACE INTRUSION, SURFACE-BASED ANALYSIS, MULTISENSORY INTEGRATION, HUMAN BRAIN, SOMATOSENSORY AREA, CORTICAL SURFACE, PARIETAL CORTEX, M FASCICULARIS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051900
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