Investigating the Influence of Visual Distractors on the Voluntary Switching of Auditory Selective Attention in Virtual Reality (en)

* Presenting author
Day / Time: 09.03.2023, 10:40-11:00
Room: Saal Y5
Typ: Vortrag (strukturierte Sitzung)

Since virtual reality (VR) offers great opportunities to investigate auditory phenomena in more close to real-life scenarios, it is important to translate and extend established paradigms to consider the new technology. One major novelty in VR as opposed to classical laboratory conditions is the spatial audio setup and the added immersive visual component. To investigate the influence of visual stimuli on the auditory selective attention in a classroom-based setting, a validated audio-only paradigm was extended by congruent and incongruent visual stimuli. It was hypothesized that visual distractors would impair the task performance, while audiovisual congruent stimuli would lower reaction times and error rates. A listening experiment indicated significantly longer reaction times when any visual stimulus was shown compared to the audio-only version. However, only tendencies for the audiovisual congruency effects were found, which should be further investigated in subsequent studies. Still, it can be concluded that showing a visual stimulus at the same time as the auditory stimulus does impair task performance and therefore the auditory attention.