Grey matter volume in early human visual cortex predicts proneness to the sound-induced flash illusion

de Haas, Benjamin, Kanai, Ryota, Jalkanen, Lauri and Rees, Geraint (2012) Grey matter volume in early human visual cortex predicts proneness to the sound-induced flash illusion. Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1749). pp. 4955-4961. ISSN 1471-2954

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Abstract

Visual perception can be modulated by sounds. A drastic example of this is the sound-induced flash illusion: when a single flash is accompanied by two bleeps, it is sometimes perceived in an illusory fashion as two consecutive flashes. However, there are strong individual differences in proneness to this illusion. Some participants experience the illusion on almost every trial, whereas others almost never do. We investigated whether such individual differences in proneness to the sound-induced flash illusion were reflected in structural differences in brain regions whose activity is modulated by the illusion. We found that individual differences in proneness to the illusion were strongly and significantly correlated with local grey matter volume in early retinotopic visual cortex. Participants with smaller early visual cortices were more prone to the illusion. We propose that strength of auditory influences on visual perception is determined by individual differences in recurrent connections, cross-modal attention and/or optimal weighting of sensory channels.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Depositing User: Ryota Kanai
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 12:09
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2013 12:09
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43883
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