Reconciling sensory reference frames and stabilising multisensory perception

Speaker: David Aagten-Murphy
Date: Thursday 2 July 2015 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Venue: Senate House, Senate House, WC1E 7HU
See all events at: Senate House

Room 246

As we move through our environment we experience a singular, stable and multisensory representation of our surroundings. This percept requires the dynamic realignment of head-centered auditory and eye-centered visual reference frames (each capable of independent shifts of their foci) and the smoothing of any interruptions caused by saccades, blinks or other movements. In this presentation I will discuss two different approaches that we have been using to examine how our spatial representation of the environment is constructed. In the first part of the talk I will discuss how nearby distractor stimuli of different modalities can influence the curvature of our eye-movements and the implications this has for how multimodal space is updated across a saccade. In the second part I will discuss the use of visual landmarks to stabilise our spatial percept and demonstrate that not only do we use salient visual objects to keep our visual representation aligned to the surrounding environment, but we also use it to align auditory spatial information across saccadic eye movements.

From 2005 to 2008 David Aagten-Murphy studied undergraduate psychology and neuroscience at the University of Sydney, completing his master’s thesis on “the perception of auditory motion and depth within the near field” with David Alais in 2008. In 2009 he then moved to Europe and began his PhD with David Burr in Pisa, where he examined models of optimal behaviour, the visual perception of magnitude (e.g. time, number, and distance) and autistic perception. After finishing his PhD in 2013, David has been working at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich with Heiner Deubel investigating perception at and around the time of saccades with multisensory stimuli.