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Reevaluating visual and auditory dominance through task switching costs and congruency analyses
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 19:31 authored by Rajwant Sandhu, Benjamin Dyson
Competition between the senses can lead to modality dominance, where one sense influences multi-modal processing to a greater degree than another. Modality dominance can be influenced by task demands, speeds of processing, contextual influence and practice. To resolve previous discrepancies in these factors, we assessed modality dominance in an audio-visual paradigm controlling for the first three factors while manipulating the fourth. Following a uni-modal task in which auditory and visual processing were equated, participants completed a pre-practice selective attention bimodal task in which the congruency relationship and task-relevant modality changed across trials. Participants were given practice in one modality prior to completing a post-practice selective attention bimodal task similar to the first. The effects of practice were non-specific as participants were speeded post-practice relative to pre-practice. Congruent stimuli relative to incongruent stimuli, also led to increased processing efficiency. RT data tended to reveal symmetric modality switching costs whereas the error rate data tended to reveal asymmetric modality switching costs in which switching from auditory to visual processing was particularly costly. The data suggest that when a number of safeguards are put in place to equate auditory and visual responding as far as possible, evidence for an auditory advantage can arise.
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