When someone hears regular, periodic sounds, such as drum beats, footsteps, or stressed syllables in speech, these individual stimuli tend to be grouped into a perceived rhythm. One of the hallmarks of rhythm perception is that the listener generates expectations for the timing of upcoming stimuli, which theorists have described as endogenous periodic modulations of attention around the time of anticipated sounds. By constructing an internal representation of a rhythm, perceptual processes can be augmented by proactively deploying attention at the expected moment of an upcoming stressed syllable, the next step in an observed stride, or during the stroke of a co-speech hand gesture. A hypothetical benefit of this anticipatory allocation of attention is that it might facilitate temporal integration across the senses, binding multisensory aspects of our experiences into a unified “now,” anchored by temporally-precise auditory expectations. The current dissertation examines this hypothesis, exploring the effects of auditory singletons, and auditory rhythms, on electrophysiological indices of perception and attention to a visual stimulus, using the flash-lag paradigm. An electroencephalography study was conducted, where sounds, either isolated or presented rhythmically, occurred in alignment with a task-relevant visual flash. Results suggest a novel dissociation between the multisensory effects of discrete and rhythmic sounds on visual event perception, as assessed by the N1 component of the event-related potential, and by oscillatory power in the beta (15–20 Hz) frequency range. This dissociation is discussed in the context of classic and contemporary research on rhythm perception, temporal orienting, and temporal binding across the senses, and contributes to a more refined understanding of rhythmically-deployed attention.
|Commitee:||Hetrick, William P., James, Thomas W., Kruschke, John K., Port, Robert F.|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Neurosciences, Cognitive psychology, Physiological psychology|
|Keywords:||Bayesian estimation, Electroencephalography, Flash-lag effect, Multisensory, Rhythm perception, Temporal orienting|
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