Cross-Modal Auditory Plasticity from Visual Imagery

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Description: The raw data and R scripts (version 3.3.2) used to perform the analyses for the manuscript entitled, "Mental Imagery Induces Cross-Modal Sensory Plasticity and Changes Future Auditory Perception" by Dr. Christopher C. Berger and Prof. H. Henrik Ehrsson are stored and made publicly available here. Project Description (paper abstract): Can what we imagine in our minds change how we perceive the world in the future? A continuous process of multisensory integration and recalibration is responsible for maintaining a correspondence between the senses (e.g., vision, touch, audition) and, ultimately, a stable and coherent perception of our environment. This process depends on the plasticity of our sensory systems. The so-called ‘ventriloquism aftereffect’—a shift in the perceived localization of sounds presented alone after repeated exposure to spatially mismatched auditory and visual stimuli—is a clear example of this type of plasticity in the audiovisual domain. In a series of six studies with 24 participants each, we report an imagery-induced ventriloquism aftereffect in which imagining a visual stimulus elicits the same frequency-specific auditory aftereffect as actually seeing one. These results demonstrate that mental imagery can recalibrate the senses and induce the same cross-modal sensory plasticity as real sensory stimuli.

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