Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows combination of sight and sound helps adults learn basic visual tasks more rapidly

17.08.2006
Multi-sensory approach suggests adult perceptual systems can be modified

Researchers from Boston University (BU) and UCLA have found that using multi-sensory training programs, a research technique that engages more than one of the senses, helps adults improve their performance of low-level perceptual tasks – such as visually detecting the motion of an object – significantly faster than methods that use only one stimulus.

The study, published in a recent issue of Current Biology, demonstrates that using stimuli that involve both vision and hearing can be combined to produce speedier learning of visual information and suggest that multi-sensory training programs may be more effective for adults learning new skills – such as discriminating differences between highly similar objects, or finding an item in cluttered scene.

According to Aaron Seitz, a research assistant professor of psychology at BU and lead investigator of the study, the traditional belief among neuroscientists is that the five senses operate largely as independent systems. However, mounting data suggests that interactions between vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste are the rule rather than the exception when it comes to how the human brain processes sensory information and thus perceives things.

Using this as their basis, Seitz and his colleagues, Robyn Kym and Ladan Shams of UCLA, set out to determine if engaging both the eyes and ears can help people learn to identify patterns of motion more rapidly.

Using a specially-designed computer program, the team tested how accurately subjects could recognize whether or not dots were moving across the screen in a coherent pattern. One group of participants saw just the dots while a second group also heard a sound moving in coordination with the motion of the dots.

"We showed subjects a series of screens – each for about half of a second. In half of the screens, the dots were moving randomly. The other half contained a few dots moving in a particular direction, in this case either left or right, hidden among a bunch of randomly moving dots," explained Seitz. "We then asked the subjects to report which screens in the series they thought contained dots that were moving coherently as well as in which direction they were going."

Participants were trained on the same series of screens for 10 days and the data indicate that individuals who saw the dots accompanied by a sound learned more quickly to correctly decipher the coherent movement and course of the dots and reached near peak performance on their third day of training. Individuals trained in silence failed to reach that same level of performance even after 10 days of training.

"While all subjects did show improvement, the audiovisual group learned much faster and showed better rates of retention from session to session compared to the group that received visual signals alone," said Seitz.

While it may sound obvious that both seeing and hearing cues resulted in faster learning, the benefits of the multi-sensory training surprised the team.

"Learning how to perceive motion is thought to be controlled by lower-level functions of vision believed to be largely "fixed" or unchangeable after critical periods of development during the first few years of life," explained Seitz. "And the fact that hearing benefits this low-level visual learning is rather surprising. What our results demonstrate is that with the right training paradigms, you can actually achieve alterations in adult perceptual systems."

Kira Edler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>