Effect of audiovisual training on monaural spatial hearing in horizontal plane

PLoS One. 2011 Mar 29;6(3):e18344. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018344.


The article aims to test the hypothesis that audiovisual integration can improve spatial hearing in monaural conditions when interaural difference cues are not available. We trained one group of subjects with an audiovisual task, where a flash was presented in parallel with the sound and another group in an auditory task, where only sound from different spatial locations was presented. To check whether the observed audiovisual effect was similar to feedback, the third group was trained using the visual feedback paradigm. Training sessions were administered once per day, for 5 days. The performance level in each group was compared for auditory only stimulation on the first and the last day of practice. Improvement after audiovisual training was several times higher than after auditory practice. The group trained with visual feedback demonstrated a different effect of training with the improvement smaller than the group with audiovisual training. We conclude that cross-modal facilitation is highly important to improve spatial hearing in monaural conditions and may be applied to the rehabilitation of patients with unilateral deafness and after unilateral cochlear implantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Audiovisual Aids*
  • Female
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Young Adult