Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Robert Gilkey (Advisor), Brian Simpson (Committee Member), Scott Watamaniuk (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Previous research has been divided on whether or not multisensory cues can speed visual search relative to their component unisensory cues alone. Some studies (e.g., Mateo et al., 2012) found reaction times for multisensory cues were not faster than the RT of the faster component unisensory cue alone. Other studies (e.g., Oskarsson et al., 2012) found the multisensory cue to be faster than either unisensory cue alone (i.e., multisensory enhancement). This study aimed to determine whether the relative effectiveness match between auditory and tactile cues affects multisensory enhancement on a visual search task. In Experiment 1 we estimated for each subject three auditory cue inaccuracy values that corresponded to RTs equal to, 25% faster than, and 25% slower than tactile cue RTs. In Experiment 2 we combined each estimated auditory cue inaccuracy with a tactile cue to produce the multisensory conditions. We then compared RTs across the three different multisensory conditions. Our results suggest enhancement was more likely to occur when the auditory and tactile cues were closely matched in effectiveness and interference was more likely to occur when auditory and tactile cues were not closely matched. Although additional work will be needed to determine whether the interference was due to ineffective cues, poor strategies by the subjects, or a combination of thee factors, our results seem to demonstrate the utility of providing two equally-matched cues as a strategy to speed visual search.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.