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Influence of visual information on the auditory median plane of the head

Schicke, Tobias; Demuth, Lisa; Röder, BrigitteCA

Vision, Central

When determining the position of sounds, people perceive their subjective auditory median plane of the head (SAMP) displaced towards the side to which the head is turned. The present study investigated the influence of visual input on this effect. A group of congenitally blind and two groups of sighted adults, one with eyes open, one with eyes closed, adjusted the location of a tone presented through headphones in such a way that they perceived it to originate at their SAMP, both with the head straight ahead and turned 60° to the right. While both sighted groups showed a reliable SAMP displacement in the 60° condition, the congenitally blind did not. It is speculated that the blind have learned to integrate proprioceptive information more precisely contributing to superior auditory localization skills.

Department of Psychology, Philipps-University Marburg, Gutenbergst. 18, 35032 Marburg, Germany

CACorresponding Author

Received 14 June 2002; accepted 8 July 2002

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.