Alternation of sound location induces visual motion perception of a static object

Souta Hidaka*, Yuko Manaka, Wataru Teramoto, Yoichi Sugita, Ryota Miyauchi, Jiro Gyoba, Yôiti Suzuki, Yukio Iwaya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Audition provides important cues with regard to stimulus motion although vision may provide the most salient information. It has been reported that a sound of fixed intensity tends to be judged as decreasing in intensity after adaptation to looming visual stimuli or as increasing in intensity after adaptation to receding visual stimuli. This audiovisual interaction in motion aftereffects indicates that there are multimodal contributions to motion perception at early levels of sensory processing. However, there has been no report that sounds can induce the perception of visual motion. Methodology/Principal Findings: A visual stimulus blinking at a fixed location was perceived to be moving laterally when the flash onset was synchronized to an alternating left-right sound source. This illusory visual motion was strengthened with an increasing retinal eccentricity (2.5 deg to 20 deg) and occurred more frequently when the onsets of the audio and visual stimuli were synchronized. Conclusions/Significance: We clearly demonstrated that the alternation of sound location induces illusory visual motion when vision cannot provide accurate spatial information. The present findings strongly suggest that the neural representations of auditory and visual motion processing can bias each other, which yields the best estimates of external events in a complementary manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8188
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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