The effect of auditory warning signals on visual target identification
In the present study we examined the influence of sound source location and display luminance on facilitation by auditory warning signal. Participants made a visual discrimination of target orientation. Displays consisted of either low, medium or high luminance target and distractor items which were located on opposite sides of a central fixation cross. Visual information was presented alone or accompanied by sound form the target location or from the centre of the display. Response times were faster when sound accompanied the visual display. Facilitation increased with decreasing target luminance, but sound source location had no effect on the amount of facilitation obtained. Though it was possible that inability to localise sounds or rnis-localisation of the status sound eliminated the effects of sound source location, it was concluded that task demands most strongly influenced the utility of auditory spatial information.