Multisensory Integration in Complete Unawareness: Evidence From Audiovisual Congruency Priming

Nathan Faivre, Liad Mudrik, Naama Schwartz, Christof Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Multisensory integration is thought to require conscious perception. Although previous studies have shown that an invisible stimulus could be integrated with an audible one, none have demonstrated integration of two subliminal stimuli of different modalities. Here, pairs of identical or different audiovisual target letters (the sound /b/ with the written letter “b” or “m,” respectively) were preceded by pairs of masked identical or different audiovisual prime digits (the sound /6/ with the written digit “6” or “8,” respectively). In three experiments, awareness of the audiovisual digit primes was manipulated, such that participants were either unaware of the visual digit, the auditory digit, or both. Priming of the semantic relations between the auditory and visual digits was found in all experiments. Moreover, a further experiment showed that unconscious multisensory integration was not obtained when participants did not undergo prior conscious training of the task. This suggests that following conscious learning, unconscious processing suffices for multisensory integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2006-2016
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Science
Volume25
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • awareness
  • consciousness
  • masking
  • multisensory integration
  • open data
  • open materials
  • semantic priming

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