Louder is Higher: Cross-Modal Interaction of Loudness Change and Vertical Motion in Speeded Classification

Zohar Eitan, Assi Schupak, Lawrence E. Marks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Garner’s speeded discrimination paradigm was used to determine whether loudness change and spatiovisual vertical motion interact perceptually. 32 participants (16 musically trained) served in 2 experiments, where auditory stimuli (1000 Hz sinusoids) increasing or decreasing in loudness accompanied visual stimuli (dots on a screen) that simultaneously moved up or down.
Participants rapidly discriminated values in one, “relevant,” stimulus (auditory in Expt1, visual in Expt2) while ignoring the other. Each experiment included 2 baseline conditions, 2 correlated conditions (congruent and incongruent), and an orthogonal condition. Two outcomes would indicate interaction: Garner
interference, (Orthogonal condition RT > baseline RT), implying failure to attend selectively to the relevant stimulus, and congruence effects (RTs, incongruent stimuli > RTs, congruent stimuli). Results in Exp1 (auditory discrimination) indicate significant congruence effects both within the orthogonal condition and between correlated conditions. Exp2 (visual discrimination) gave no significant
congruence effects. No Garner interference emerged in either experiment. Congruence effects were larger for musically untrained participants. Results suggest that loudness change and visually perceived vertical motion interact perceptually. The combination of congruence effects and no Garner interference conforms to a model in which information deriving from auditory and visual stimuli combines into a single variable, continuously compared to bipolar
response boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition
Subtitle of host publication25-29 August 2008 : Sapporo Japan
EditorsKen’ichi Miyazaki
Place of PublicationSapporo
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9784990420802
StatePublished - 2008


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