The role of attention on the integration of visual and inertial cues

Daniel R. Berger, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The extent to which attending to one stimulus while ignoring another influences the integration of visual and inertial (vestibular, somatosensory, proprioceptive) stimuli is currently unknown. It is also unclear how cue integration is affected by an awareness of cue conflicts. We investigated these questions using a turn-reproduction paradigm, where participants were seated on a motion platform equipped with a projection screen and were asked to actively return a combined visual and inertial whole-body rotation around an earth-vertical axis. By introducing cue conflicts during the active return and asking the participants whether they had noticed a cue conflict, we measured the influence of each cue on the response. We found that the task instruction had a significant effect on cue weighting in the response, with a higher weight assigned to the attended modality, only when participants noticed the cue conflict. This suggests that participants used task-induced attention to reduce the influence of stimuli that conflict with the task instructions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the Max Planck Society and the Sonderforschungsbereich 550 of the Deutsche Fors-chungsgemeinschaft (DFG). We would like to thank Massimiliano Di Luca, John Butler, Jean-Pierre Bresciani and Jennifer Campos for helpful discussions.


  • Attention
  • Cue conflicts
  • Multisensory integration
  • Perception of angular displacement
  • Robust integration
  • Self-motion perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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