Widmann, A., Kujala, T., Tervaniemi, M., Kujala, A., & Schröger, E. (2004). From symbols to sounds: visual symbolic information activates sound representations. Psychophysiology, 41(5), 709-715.

From symbols to sounds: visual symbolic information activates sound representations

Expectations on forthcoming sounds can speed up responding to environmental changes and can, thus, be a basis for successful adaptation. The present study investigated event-related brain potential (ERP) effects in situations where particular sounds were predicted on the basis of preceding visual information. Subjects had to map scorelike visual symbols to corresponding sounds. The sounds could be either congruent or occasionally incongruent with the corresponding symbol. When the auditory stimulation was incongruent with the visual information, a brain response was elicited starting as early as about 100 ms from the onset of the auditory stimulus. It had a bilateral frontal distribution and a polarity inversion at the mastoids compatible with the assumption of sources in auditory cortex. These results suggest that the auditory system can establish a representation of an expected stimulus on the basis of visual symbolic information.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig


Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

Dorit Thieme
Phone: +49 341 97-39540
Email: d dot thieme at uni-leipzig dot de

Fax: +49 341 97-39271