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28-12-2017 | Original Article | Uitgave 7/2019

Psychological Research 7/2019

Spatial and frequency specificity of the ventriloquism aftereffect revisited

Psychological Research > Uitgave 7/2019
Patrick Bruns, Brigitte Röder


Exposure to audiovisual stimuli with a consistent spatial misalignment seems to result in a recalibration of unisensory auditory spatial representations. The previous studies have suggested that this so-called ventriloquism aftereffect is confined to the trained region of space, but yielded inconsistent results as to whether or not recalibration generalizes to untrained sound frequencies. Here, we reassessed the spatial and frequency specificity of the ventriloquism aftereffect by testing whether auditory spatial perception can be independently recalibrated for two different sound frequencies and/or at two different spatial locations. Recalibration was confined to locations within the trained hemifield, suggesting that spatial representations were independently adjusted for the two hemifields. The frequency specificity of the ventriloquism aftereffect depended on the presence or the absence of conflicting audiovisual adaptation stimuli within the same hemifield. Moreover, adaptation of two different sound frequencies in opposite directions (leftward vs. rightward) resulted in a selective suppression of leftward recalibration, even when the adapting stimuli were presented in different hemifields. Thus, instead of representing a fixed stimulus-driven process, cross-modal recalibration seems to critically depend on the sensory context and takes into account inconsistencies in the cross-modal input.

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