The role of object categories in auditory-visual object recognition

Clara Suied, Isabelle Viaud-Delmon
Last modified: 2008-05-13


The influence of semantic congruence on auditory-visual object recognition was studied in a go/no-go task. We compared the effect of different object categories (animals and man-made objects) on reaction times. Experiments were run under a realistic virtual environment including 3D images and free-field audio. Participants were asked to react as fast as possible to a target object presented in the visual and/or the auditory modality, and to inhibit their response to a distractor object. Reaction times were significantly shorter for semantically congruent bimodal stimuli than would be predicted by independent processing of information about the auditory and the visual targets presented unimodally. Moreover, reaction times were significantly shorter for semantically congruent bimodal stimuli (i.e., visual and auditory targets) than for semantically incongruent bimodal stimuli (i.e. target represented in only one sensory modality and distractor presented in the other modality). A comparison of the interference effect across the various object different categories is then detailed. These experiments bring new elements about the influence of object categories on the rules of auditory-visual integration.

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