Show Reference: "The Ventriloquist Effect Results from Near-Optimal Bimodal Integration"

The ventriloquist effect results from near-optimal bimodal integration. Current Biology, Vol. 14, No. 3. (3 February 2004), pp. 257-262, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2004.01.029 by David Alais, David Burr
    abstract = {Ventriloquism is the ancient art of making one's voice appear to come from elsewhere, an art exploited by the Greek and Roman oracles, and possibly earlier [1]. We regularly experience the effect when watching television and movies, where the voices seem to emanate from the actors' lips rather than from the actual sound source. Originally, ventriloquism was explained by performers projecting sound to their puppets by special techniques [1], but more recently it is assumed that ventriloquism results from vision capturing sound [25]. In this study we investigate spatial localization of audio-visual stimuli. When visual localization is good, vision does indeed dominate and capture sound. However, for severely blurred visual stimuli (that are poorly localized), the reverse holds: sound captures vision. For less blurred stimuli, neither sense dominates and perception follows the mean position. Precision of bimodal localization is usually better than either the visual or the auditory unimodal presentation. All the results are well explained not by one sense capturing the other, but by a simple model of optimal combination of visual and auditory information.},
    author = {Alais, David and Burr, David},
    day = {3},
    doi = {10.1016/j.cub.2004.01.029},
    issn = {0960-9822},
    journal = {Current Biology},
    keywords = {bayes, behaviour, biology, cue-combination, experiments, localization, multi-modality, probability, psychology, visual},
    month = feb,
    number = {3},
    pages = {257--262},
    pmid = {14761661},
    posted-at = {2012-05-30 13:40:56},
    priority = {2},
    publisher = {Cell Press},
    title = {The ventriloquist effect results from near-optimal bimodal integration.},
    url = {},
    volume = {14},
    year = {2004}

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Alais and Burr found in an audio-visual localization experiment that the ventriloquism effect can be interpreted by a simple cue weighting model of human multi-sensory integration:

Their subjects weighted visual and auditory cues depending on their reliability. The weights they used were consistent with MLE. In most situations, visual cues are much more reliable for localization than are auditory cues. Therefore, a visual cue is given so much greater weight that it captures the auditory cue.