Show Reference: "Semantic congruence is a critical factor in multisensory behavioral performance"

Semantic congruence is a critical factor in multisensory behavioral performance Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation cérébrale In Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 158, No. 4. (October 2004), pp. 405-414, doi:10.1007/s00221-004-1913-2 by Paul J. Laurienti, Robert A. Kraft, Joseph A. Maldjian, Jonathan H. Burdette, Mark T. Wallace
    abstract = {It has repeatedly been demonstrated that the presence of multiple cues in different sensory modalities can enhance behavioral performance by speeding responses, increasing accuracy, and/or improving stimulus detection. Despite an extensive knowledge base as to how the spatial, temporal, and physical (e.g., intensity) characteristics of multisensory stimuli influence such enhancements, little is known about the role of semantic or contextual congruence. Our hypothesis was that semantically congruent multisensory stimuli would result in enhanced behavioral performance, and that semantically incongruent multisensory stimuli would result in either no enhancement or a decrement in behavioral performance. The results from a redundant cue feature discrimination task clearly demonstrate that congruent cross-modal stimulation improves behavioral performance. This effect is specific to the multisensory stimuli, as no improvements are seen in the presence of redundant unimodal stimulus pairs. In contrast, incongruent stimulus pairs result in behavioral decrements for both multisensory and paired unimodal stimuli. These results highlight that in addition to such simple stimulus features as space, time and relative effectiveness, the semantic content of a multisensory stimulus plays a critical role in determining how it is processed by the nervous system.},
    author = {Laurienti, Paul J. and Kraft, Robert A. and Maldjian, Joseph A. and Burdette, Jonathan H. and Wallace, Mark T.},
    booktitle = {Experimental Brain Research},
    doi = {10.1007/s00221-004-1913-2},
    issn = {0014-4819},
    journal = {Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Exp\'{e}rimentation c\'{e}r\'{e}brale},
    keywords = {auditory, biology, multisensory-integration, semantic},
    month = oct,
    number = {4},
    pages = {405--414},
    pmid = {15221173},
    posted-at = {2013-07-05 09:58:54},
    priority = {2},
    publisher = {Springer-Verlag},
    title = {Semantic congruence is a critical factor in multisensory behavioral performance},
    url = {},
    volume = {158},
    year = {2004}

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Reactions to cross-sensory stimuli can be faster than the fastest reaction to any one of the constituent uni-sensory stimuli (as would be predicted by the race model.).

Laurenti et al. found in a audio-visual color identification task that redundant, congruent, semantic auditory information (the utterance of a color word) can decrease latency in response to a stimulus (color of a circle displayed to the subject). Incongruent semantic visual or auditory information (written or uttered color word) can increase response latency. However, congruent semantic visual information (written color word) does not decrease response latency.

The enhancements in response latencies in Laurenti et al.'s audio-visual color discrimination experiments were greater (response latencies were shorter) than predicted by the race model.

Improved performance on the behavioral side due to cross-sensory integration is connected to effects of effects on the neurophysiological side.