The human environment is multimodal. At any moment, multiple sensory systems receive input simultaneously. Still, most research on perception, attention, and learning has focused unisensory, mostly visual, information processing. Early research on crossmodal interactions has emphasized that visual information is dominant. Yet, more recent work has identified many instances in which coinciding information from other sensory modalities alters visual processing. Also, information processing is recently specifically tested using multisensory objects or asking participants to respond to stimuli in different sensory modalities simultaneously. In this symposium, we would like to provide an overview about recent research on crossmodal interactions and integration. Therefore, five invited speakers from different German laboratories will address fundamental psychological processes, namely, perception, attention, or learning, in multisensory contexts.
First, Hauke Meyerhoff (Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien) presents evidence how coinciding crossmodal information impacts on visual perception. The following two presentations will address the influence of crossmodal stimuli on visual attention. Malte Möller (University of Passau) addresses the impact of crossmodal spatial compatibility on attention (i.e., crossmodal Simon effect), Edina Fintor (RWTH Aachen University) reports on the role of crossmodal congruency for task switching. Then, Ann-Katrin Wesslein (University of Tübingen) presents evidence from negative priming indicating that processing a stimulus may cause an amodal representation to be formed, potentially affecting subsequent processing of the same stimulus in another sensory modality. Finally, Julia Föcker (Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich) shows how the processing of human voices is altered in congenitally blind individuals (i.e., differences in the learning history). Taken together, the symposium is supposed to bring together researchers with a mutual interest in crossmodal interactions and to inspire future research as well as collaborations.