Invalid cues impair auditory motion sensitivity

Perception. 2003;32(6):731-40. doi: 10.1068/p5049.


Compelling lateral motion can be experienced when intensity differences between the two cars change over time. Whether our sensitivity to this dynamic interaural stimulation could be influenced by directional cues was the focus of the present study. On each trial, amplitude-modulated pure tones were presented either diotically (no-motion condition) or dichotically (motion condition), and participants indicated whether lateral motion was present or absent. Randomly across trials, the stimuli were preceded by a valid directional cue, an invalid directional cue, or no cue, while the motion to be detected was identical across these cue conditions. The data indicate that motion sensitivity was comparable in the valid-cue and no-cue conditions. Relative to each of those conditions, however, motion sensitivity was significantly lower in the invalid-cue condition, and motion was reported significantly less often. The results provide evidence that our sensitivity to dynamic interaural intensity differences can be significantly affected by a non-sensory factor, namely cue validity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cues*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illusions*
  • Male
  • Motion*
  • Psychophysics
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sound Localization / physiology*