A Vestibular Influence on the Beat

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					276       News From the Field

pear during this interval, it will look          had collections of round or sharp              an ambiguous rhythmic pattern is a
like there are only three disks that             features. During category learning,            march or a waltz. Trainor et al. disso-
move left and right as a group. Note             the round- or sharp-sounding labels            ciated the vestibular component from
that other shapes and orientations               were either congruent or incongruent           other components of a movement by
can be used, but horizontally aligned            with the rounded or sharp diagnostic           using artificial stimulation. The ves-
disks are nice because they look like            features of objects in each category.          tibular nerve (a galvanic stimulation)
Newton’s cradle.                                 At test, subjects judged whether a             was stimulated in the absence of any
    Boi et al. put visual targets in the         learned label matched or mismatched            physical movement in order to induce
middle two disks. Some of these tar-             each drawing. Kovic et al. found that          the sensation of a side-to-side move-
gets cannot be identified unless the             when the sound structure of the label          ment of the head, timed to occur on
observer experiences group motion.               was congruent with salient category            every second or third beat of an am-
Other targets look one way with group            features, subjects were faster to re-          biguous auditory rhythm pattern. The
motion and another with element mo-              spond than when the label–object               experiment revealed that this vestibu-
tion. For example, element motion is             properties were incongruent. In other          lar stimulation alone was sufficient to
required to make an upward-drifting              words, learners were sensitive to the          strongly bias the metrical interpreta-
grating appear to move up inside the             sound-symbolic properties of the               tion of an auditory rhythm pattern. In
middle left disk when a downward-                category labels. Electrophysiologi-            brief, the vestibular system plays a
drifting grating appears in the middle           cal measures revealed distinct brain           primal role in the perception of musi-
right disk. Otherwise, it looks like             signatures accompanying sound-                 cal rhythm. —S.G.
there are just three disks, with a grat-         symbolic pairings. A large early
ing in the center that changes direc-            negative ERP component associated                    SELECTIVE ATTENTION
tion. Note that even in the latter case,         with auditory–visual integration was
                                                 found when the sounds in the label
                                                                                                Keeping the Noise Down
the Ternus display produces down-
                                                                                                Mitchell et al. (2009). Spatial attention
ward and upward motion aftereffects,             were congruent with the visual fea-            decorrelates intrinsic activity fluctuations in
left and right of the center. Full appre-        tures of the category member. These            macaque area V4. Neuron, 63, 879.
ciation of Boi et al.’s presumptuously           findings indicate that language users
titled, yet incontestably cool, study            are sensitive to the symbolic relations           The scientific study of visual se-
is really only possible if you find a            between sound and meaning in spo-              lective attention has enjoyed a long
particularly hardy browser and tune              ken language and use these nonarbi-            history in experimental psychology,
it to journalofvision.org for the video
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: The vestibular nerve (a galvanic stimulation) was stimulated in the absence of any physical movement in order to induce the sensation of a side-to-side movement of the head, timed to occur on every second or third beat of an ambiguous auditory rhythm pattern.
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