The purpose of this study is to find links between visual and auditory senses. We are going to find the effects that sound have on a line of light. A related study was done in this subject by Laden shams, Yukiyasa Kamitnai and Shinsuke Shimojo. In their study 'What you see is what you hear,' they found that 'visual perception can be qualitatively altered by sound even when the visual stimulus is not ambiguous.' 'When a light and a sound stimulus were presented simultaneously at different positions, subject perceived the position of the sound stimulus as being shifted toward that of the light stimulus (Jackson 1953; Pick, Warren, & Hay, 1969; Bertelson & Tadeau, 1981).' This quote was taken from a study done by Noriyuki Kitajima and Yukio Yamashita called 'Dynamic Capture of Sound Motion by Light Stimuli Moving in Three-dimensional Space.' The information we got out of the two studies above led us to form our hypothesis that a visual stimulus will be affected by an auditory stimulus. To test this we formed a line of light and tested how it was affected when a loud noise was presented.
We made a line of light by sticking a glow stick on a circle made out of cardboard. We then connected the cardboard circle to the axis rotator machine. When spun it formed a consistent line of light, rotating counterclockwise around its axis. A standard bike horn produced the auditory stimulus. The subjects were 18 Alma College undergraduate students. These subject were sat down in a room were the rotator machine was all set up. The room lights were then turned off. At this time we told the subjects to watch the light line source and to pay attention to any effects on the source when the noise was made. Then we reinforced that they had to pay attention to the light source at all times. After the subject was sat down and the lights were off, we then produced the auditory stimulus five random times. Once the horn was blown five times, we turned on the light. A piece of paper was given to them were they could write down any effects that they saw. After all of the subjects were tested we compared their results to each other.
We found that effects varied from person to person. Six different effects were found between he 18 subjects. The effect most saw by the subjects was blurring of the light. Fourteen out of the 18 people said that they saw this. As shown in the figure 1, other effects were seen. Out of the 18 subjects 29 effects were seen, with each subject seeing at least one effect.
The results that we came up with support our thesis that an auditory stimuli will have an effect on visual stimuli. This is supported by the simple fact that effects were found, but is strongly supported because all subjects reported seeing some effect or effects. This seems to link our visual system to our auditory system. In an indirect way this study also helps to support the find in the study 'What you see is what you hear,' because of the link between the auditory system and the visual system. All of the effects seemed to be negative in a way though. By this I mean weakened the visual stimulus. So further studies will have to be done to see if there is any way that auditory stimuli could be used to strengthen visual stimuli. A confound was found in our study though. The confound is that our results could be coming from a different source altogether and not the auditory stimulus. When the auditory stimulus was produced the subjects may have blinked a little bit. This blinking could have caused have caused the subjects eyes to become unfocused. This un-focusing could have lead to the effects the subjects reported. So further studies will have to be done were blinking is not an option for the subjects. This would remove this confound and make the study more valid. I feel that our study helped support out thesis and more studies can be done to further inform us about this phenomenon.
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Alma College Psychology Department