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From Lab to Life: The impact of multisensory integration phenomena in everyday life

From Lab to Life: The impact of multisensory integration phenomena in everyday life

From Lab to Life: The impact of multisensory integration phenomena in everyday life
Plenty of studies, some of them exceptionally elegant, have come to reveal of that cross-modal interactions can render important benefits, produce interference or, even give rise to some dramatic perceptual illusions. But...What is the actual...

Plenty of studies, some of them exceptionally elegant, have come to reveal of that cross-modal interactions can render important benefits, produce interference or, even give rise to some dramatic perceptual illusions. But...What is the actual relevance of all these well controlled laboratory findings in our everyday life? The purpose of the Lab2Life project is the generalization of multisensory phenomena arising from strictly controlled laboratory experiments, to realistic everyday life environments. To this aim, we propose to take two representative multisensory phenomena away from the researchers’ comfort zone, to complex naturalistic situations where their behavioural and neural expression will be measured. The basic multisensory processes being investigated are: Attention capture by cross-modal congruence, and Perceptual facilitation by cross-modal synergy. We have designed three work packages to gauge these two multisensory effects in a variety of contexts. For example, we address how cross-modal congruence grabs our attention when we search information in the web, why an image can help us find the car keys in the thick of all the stuff in our pocket, or what type of cross-modal synergies can help us follow one particular conversation amidst a din of hundred other conversations in a crowded room. The selected multisensory phenomena will be addressed in these illustrative real-life tasks by means of behavioural, eye-tracking, and neuroimaging (ERP, fMRI) paradigms. Our hope is to get one step closer to understand information processing in real naturalistic situations. Transversal to these scientific aims, Lab2Life also has the strategic aim of positioning our research team within the current shift toward knowledge transference between basic science and socially/technologically relevant outcomes. Lab2Life pursues this goal by incorporating novel methodological capabilities and by identifying possible transference opportunities.

Key words: experimental psychology; cognitive neuroscience; perception; attention; multisensory integration; natural environments; haptics; vision; audition; ERP; FMRI

Illustrative picture:

Ministerio de Economia y Compatitividad, PSI2014-42626-P. DGCYT, and scholarship FI AGAUR #XXXXXX to Daria Kvasova