October 29, 2020

Robust spatial ventriloquism effect and aftereffect under memory interference

Our brain adapts to discrepancies in the sensory inputs. One example is provided by the ventriloquism effect, experienced when the sight and sound of an object are displaced. Here the discrepant multisensory stimuli not only result in a biased localization of the sound, but also recalibrate the perception of subsequent unisensory acoustic information in the so-called ventriloquism aftereffect. This aftereffect has been linked to memory-related processes based on its parallels to general sequential effects in perceptual decision making experiments and insights obtained in neuroimaging studies. For example, we have recently implied memory-related medial parietal regions in the trial-by-trial ventriloquism aftereffect. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the ventriloquism aftereffect is indeed susceptible to manipulations interfering with working memory. Across three experiments we systematically manipulated the temporal delays between stimuli and response for either the ventriloquism or the aftereffect trials, or added a sensory-motor masking trial in between. Our data reveal no significant impact of either of these manipulations on the aftereffect, suggesting that the recalibration reflected by the ventriloquism aftereffect is surprisingly resilient to manipulations interfering with memory-related processes.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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