Phasic Alertness and Multisensory Integration Contribute to Visual Awareness of Weak Visual Targets in Audio-Visual Stimulation under Continuous Flash Suppression

Anna Matilda Helena Cederblad*, Juho Äijälä, Søren Krogh Andersen, Mary Joan Macleod, Arash Sahraie

*Kontaktforfatter

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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Abstract

Multisensory stimulation is associated with behavioural benefits, including faster processing speed, higher detection accuracy, and increased subjective awareness. These effects are most likely explained by multisensory integration, alertness, or a combination of the two. To examine changes in subjective awareness under multisensory stimulation, we conducted three experiments in which we used Continuous Flash Suppression to mask subthreshold visual targets for healthy observers. Using the Perceptual Awareness Scale, participants reported their level of awareness of the visual target on a trial-by-trial basis. The first experiment had an audio-visual Redundant Signal Effect paradigm, in which we found faster reaction times in the audio-visual condition compared to responses to auditory or visual signals alone. In two following experiments, we separated the auditory and visual signals, first spatially (experiment 2) and then temporally (experiment 3), to test whether the behavioural benefits in our multisensory stimulation paradigm could best be explained by multisensory integration or increased phasic alerting. Based on the findings, we conclude that the largest contributing factor to increased awareness of visual stimuli accompanied by auditory tones is a rise in phasic alertness and a reduction in temporal uncertainty with a small but significant contribution of multisensory integration.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer31
TidsskriftVision (Switzerland)
Vol/bind6
Udgave nummer2
Antal sider21
ISSN2411-5150
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) [grant number BB/M010996/1].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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