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Open Access Research article

Sound-contingent visual motion aftereffect

Souta Hidaka1*, Wataru Teramoto23, Maori Kobayashi3 and Yoichi Sugita4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychology, Rikkyo University, 1-2-26, Kitano, Niiza-shi, Saitama, 352-8558 Japan

2 Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University, 27-1, Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8576 Japan

3 Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, 2-1-1, Katahira, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8577 Japan

4 Neuroscience Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1497-1 Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 300-4201 Japan

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BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:44  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-44

Published: 15 May 2011

Abstract

Background

After a prolonged exposure to a paired presentation of different types of signals (e.g., color and motion), one of the signals (color) becomes a driver for the other signal (motion). This phenomenon, which is known as contingent motion aftereffect, indicates that the brain can establish new neural representations even in the adult's brain. However, contingent motion aftereffect has been reported only in visual or auditory domain. Here, we demonstrate that a visual motion aftereffect can be contingent on a specific sound.

Results

Dynamic random dots moving in an alternating right or left direction were presented to the participants. Each direction of motion was accompanied by an auditory tone of a unique and specific frequency. After a 3-minutes exposure, the tones began to exert marked influence on the visual motion perception, and the percentage of dots required to trigger motion perception systematically changed depending on the tones. Furthermore, this effect lasted for at least 2 days.

Conclusions

These results indicate that a new neural representation can be rapidly established between auditory and visual modalities.