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Auditory roughness elicits defense reactions

Abstract : Auditory roughness elicits aversion, and higher activation in cerebral areas involved in threat processing, but its link with defensive behavior is unknown. Defensive behaviors are triggered by intrusions into the space immediately surrounding the body, called peripersonal space (PPS). Integrating multisensory information in PPS is crucial to assure the protection of the body. Here, we assessed the behavioral effects of roughness on auditory-tactile integration, which reflects the monitoring of this multisensory region of space. Healthy human participants had to detect as fast as possible a tactile stimulation delivered on their hand while an irrelevant sound was approaching them from the rear hemifield. The sound was either a simple harmonic sound or a rough sound, processed through binaural rendering so that the virtual sound source was looming towards participants. The rough sound speeded tactile reaction times at a farther distance from the body than the non-rough sound. This indicates that PPS, as estimated here via auditory-tactile integration, is sensitive to auditory roughness. Auditory roughness modifies the behavioral relevance of simple auditory events in relation to the body. Even without emotional or social contextual information, auditory roughness constitutes an innate threat cue that elicits defensive responses.
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Contributor : Marine Taffou <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 1, 2021 - 5:22:57 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 13, 2021 - 3:29:02 AM
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Marine Taffou, Clara Suied, Isabelle Viaud-Delmon. Auditory roughness elicits defense reactions. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11, ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-79767-0⟩. ⟨hal-03127860⟩



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