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TitleAudiovisual integration increases the intentional step synchronization of side-by-side walkers
Author(s)Noy, Dominic
Mouta, Sandra
Lamas, Joao
Basso, Daniel
Silva, Carlos
Santos, Jorge A.
KeywordsInterpersonal synchronization
Audiovisual integration
Optimal integration
Side-by-side walking
Point-light walkers
Issue date3-Nov-2017
JournalHuman Movement Science
CitationNoy, D., Mouta, S., Lamas, J., Basso, D., Silva, C., & Santos, J. A. (2017). Audiovisual integration increases the intentional step synchronization of side-by-side walkers. Human movement science, 56(Pt B), 71.
Abstract(s)When people walk side-by-side, they often synchronize their steps. To achieve this, individuals might cross-modally match audiovisual signals from the movements of the partner and kinesthetic, cutaneous, visual and auditory signals from their own movements. Because signals from different sensory systems are processed with noise and asynchronously, the challenge of the CNS is to derive the best estimate based on this conflicting information. This is currently thought to be done by a mechanism operating as a Maximum Likelihood Estimator (MLE). The present work investigated whether audiovisual signals from the partner are integrated according to MLE in order to synchronize steps during walking. Three experiments were conducted in which the sensory cues from a walking partner were virtually simulated. In Experiment 1 seven participants were instructed to synchronize with human-sized Point Light Walkers and/or footstep sounds. Results revealed highest synchronization performance with auditory and audiovisual cues. This was quantified by the time to achieve synchronization and by synchronization variability. However, this auditory dominance effect might have been due to artifacts of the setup. Therefore, in Experiment 2 human-sized virtual mannequins were implemented. Also, audiovisual stimuli were rendered in real-time and thus were synchronous and co-localized. All four participants synchronized best with audiovisual cues. For three of the four participants results point toward their optimal integration consistent with the MLE model. Experiment 3 yielded performance decrements for all three participants when the cues were incongruent. Overall, these findings suggest that individuals might optimally integrate audiovisual cues to synchronize steps during side-by-side walking.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CAlg - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Papers in international journals
CIPsi - Artigos (Papers)

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