Auditory capture of visual apparent motion, both laterally and looming

Michael McBeath, Jason D. Addie, R. Chandler Krynen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traditional tests of multisensory stimuli typically support that vision dominates spatial judgments and audition dominates temporal ones. Here, we examine if unambiguous auditory spatial cues can capture ambiguous visual ones in judgments of direction of apparent motion. The visual motion judgments include both lateral movement and movement in depth, each when coupled with auditory stimuli moving at one of four rates. Experiment 1 tested lateral visual movement judgments (leftward vs rightward) coupled with auditory stimuli that moved laterally. Experiment 2 tested depth visual movement judgments (approaching vs receding) coupled with auditory stimuli that got louder or quieter. Results of Experiment 1 revealed and replicated an overall leftward motion bias, but with additional acoustic capture to experience visual movement away from the side on which sound initially occurred, and no effect of auditory motion speed. Results of Experiment 2 revealed and replicated an approaching motion bias, but with no effect of initial sound intensity, and an additional systematic capture effect of auditory motion speed. Faster changes in acoustic intensity produced larger visual motion capture consistent with the direction of acoustic intensity change. Findings of both experiments generalized over conditions of listening device (head phones vs speakers) and test-setting (Laboratory vs Web-based data-collection). The leftward and approaching motion bias results replicate previous research. Our principal new findings, the auditory motion capture effects, confirm the multisensory nature of dynamic spatial perception and support that extent of inter-sensory capture is a function of the relative reliability of spatial information acquired by each sensory modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalActa psychologica
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Apparent motion
  • Auditory and visual motion
  • Auditory capture
  • Dynamic spatial perception
  • Multisensory perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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