Kinematic cross-correlation induces sensory integration across separate objects

Debats N, Ernst MO, Heuer H (2017)
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 46(12): 2826-2834.

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In a basic cursor-control task, the perceived positions of the hand and the cursor are biased towards each other. We recently found that this phenomenon conforms to the reliability-based weighting mechanism of optimal multisensory integration. This indicates that optimal integration is not restricted to sensory signals originating from a single source, as is the prevailing view, but that it also applies to separate objects that are connected by a kinematic relation (i.e. hand and cursor). In the current study, we examined which aspects of the kinematic relation are crucial for eliciting the sensory integration: (i) the cross-correlation between kinematic variables of the hand and cursor trajectories, and/or (ii) an internal model of the hand-cursor kinematic transformation. Participants made out-and-back movements from the centre of a semicircular workspace to its boundary, after which they judged the position where either their hand or the cursor hit the boundary. We analysed the position biases and found that the integration was strong in a condition with high kinematic correlations (a straight hand trajectory was mapped to a straight cursor trajectory), that it was significantly reduced for reduced kinematic correlations (a straight hand trajectory was transformed into a curved cursor trajectory) and that it was not affected by the inability to acquire an internal model of the kinematic transformation (i.e. by the trial-to-trial variability of the cursor curvature). These findings support the idea that correlations play a crucial role in multisensory integration irrespective of the number of sensory sources involved.
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Debats N, Ernst MO, Heuer H. Kinematic cross-correlation induces sensory integration across separate objects. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE. 2017;46(12):2826-2834.
Debats, N., Ernst, M. O., & Heuer, H. (2017). Kinematic cross-correlation induces sensory integration across separate objects. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, 46(12), 2826-2834. doi:10.1111/ejn.13758
Debats, N., Ernst, M. O., and Heuer, H. (2017). Kinematic cross-correlation induces sensory integration across separate objects. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 46, 2826-2834.
Debats, N., Ernst, M.O., & Heuer, H., 2017. Kinematic cross-correlation induces sensory integration across separate objects. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, 46(12), p 2826-2834.
N. Debats, M.O. Ernst, and H. Heuer, “Kinematic cross-correlation induces sensory integration across separate objects”, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 46, 2017, pp. 2826-2834.
Debats, N., Ernst, M.O., Heuer, H.: Kinematic cross-correlation induces sensory integration across separate objects. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE. 46, 2826-2834 (2017).
Debats, Nienke, Ernst, Marc O., and Heuer, Herbert. “Kinematic cross-correlation induces sensory integration across separate objects”. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 46.12 (2017): 2826-2834.
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