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Title: Facilitating visual target identification using non-visual cues
Author: Ngo, Mary Kim
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 5889
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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The research presented in this thesis was designed to investigate whether and how the temporal synchrony and spatial congruence of non-visual cues with visual targets could work together to improve the discrimination and identification of visual targets in neurologically-healthy adult humans. The speed and accuracy of participants’ responses were compared following the presence or absence of temporally synchronous and/or spatially congruent or incongruent auditory, vibrotactile, and audiotactile cues in the context of dynamic visual search and rapidly-masked visual target identification. The understanding of the effects of auditory, vibrotactile, and audiotactile cues derived from these laboratory-based tasks was then applied to an air traffic control simulation involving the detection and resolution of potential conflicts (represented as visual targets amidst dynamic and cluttered visual stimuli). The results of the experiments reported in this thesis demonstrate that, in the laboratory-based setting, temporally synchronous and spatially informative non-visual cues both gave rise to significant improvements in participants’ performance, and the combination of temporal and spatial cuing gave rise to additional improvements in visual target identification performance. In the real-world setting, however, only the temporally synchronous unimodal auditory and bimodal audiotactile cues gave rise to a consistent facilitation of participants’ visual target detection performance. The mechanisms and accounts proposed to explain the effects of spatial and temporal cuing, namely multisensory integration and attention, are examined and discussed with respect to the observed improvements in participants’ visual target identification performance.
Supervisor: Spence, Charles Sponsor: Clarendon Fund Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology ; Experimental psychology ; Perception ; Attention ; multisensory integration ; perception ; audition ; vision ; visual search ; attention