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Audio-Visual Perception of Self-Induced Apparent Motion


Menning H, Swirszcz K, Vatakis A, Kourtzi,  Z
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Zvyagintsev, M., Menning H, Swirszcz K, Vatakis A, Kourtzi, Z., & Mathiak, K. (2005). Audio-Visual Perception of Self-Induced Apparent Motion. Poster presented at 8th Tübingen Perception Conference (TWK 2005), Tübingen, Germany.

Apparent motion is the perception of the realistic smooth motion of an object which flashes or sounds first at one place and then at another. In a whole-head magnetoencephalography study, we assessed neural correlates of multisensory perception of apparent motion in 12 healthy volunteers. Two successive disks (1 diameter, 100 cm distance, ±6 eccentricity, 67 ms duration, 67 ms ISI) were displayed simultaneously with auditory white noise signals (simulated by means of auditory virtual reality at the same locations). Conditions with self-induced and random direction were compared. During the first condition, the direction of apparent motion stimuli was determined by the button press of the subject and during the second, the stimulus direction was selected randomly. The time of stimulus onset was self-induced in both conditions. Subjects were instructed to determine direction of motion after every sweep. We recorded 4 sessions with 260 sweeps in each subject. Similar evoked response fields were observed for self-induced and randomized sequences up to 140 ms after stimulus onset. The pattern accorded to distributed neuromagnetic activity. Peaking at about 160 ms, the difference field between the predictable and un-predictable condition exhibited a bilateral dipolar field structure with a higher negativity for the unpredictable stimulus directions. This pattern accords to the N1 component of auditory evoked fields. Globally, apparent motion seems to engage areas related to auditory, visual, and motor processing and posterior parietal regions. As the main contrast of interest of our study, predictable versus un-predictable, i.e., self-induced vs. random, directions affected in first place auditory areas. In a similar vein, stimulus adaptation in the auditory domain has been observed during the perception of one’s own speech. This specific mechanism seems to be of high neurobiological importance as impairments of these—mainly auditory—anticipatory projections have been suggested to be influential for hallucinations in schizophrenia.