Specialisation: Visual perception; Multisensory interactions; Perceptual ambiguity;
I conduct research in the field of sensory perception and am active in visual, auditory and tactile perception. I have longstanding interests in how our dominant sense of vision deals with ambiguous inputs that support more than one perceptual interpretation, as well as in the processes that underlie integration of multisensory information.
Studying perceptual ambiguity is a fruitful way to reveal the inferential and interpretative nature of perception and my work has shown that the brain uses information from touch and sound to resolve the most probable version of what it sees. My interest in multisensory processing is motivated by the fact that our world is multisensory yet perceptual research is often restricted to one sensory modality. I have been at the forefront of work in the last decade or so investigating multisensory perception and establishing the principles the brain uses to optimally integrate information from several senses into a coherent perception of the external world.
Current work in my laboratory is directed towards understanding the links between perceptual sensitivity and underlying oscillations in neural activity, how the brain deals with the inevitable temporal asynchronies that arise between touch, sound and vision when integrating multisensory signals, and the role played by recent perceptual history in shaping current perception.
- T Ho, J Leung, D Burr, D Alais, C Morrone (2017). Auditory sensitivity and decision criteria oscillate at different frequencies separately for the two ears. Current Biology, 27(23):3643-3649.e3. doi: 10.1016/ j.cub.2017.10.017
- D Alais, J Leung, E Van der Burg (2017). Linear summation of repulsive and attractive serial dependencies: orientation and motion dependencies sum in motion perception. Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 4381-4390. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4601-15.2017.
- D Alais, D Burr (2017). Combining sensory information in a Bayesian framework. In KC Lee, M Wallace, A Coffin, A Popper, RR Fay (Eds.), Multisensory Processes: The Auditory Perspective, Springer Handbook of Auditory Research. New York, Springer.
- J Taubert, D Alais, D Burr (2016). Different coding strategies for the perception of stable and changeable facial attributes. Scientific Reports, 6:32239. doi:10.1038/srep32239.
- C Lunghi, L Lo Verde, D Alais (2016). Touch accelerates visual awareness. iPerception, 8(1): 2041669516686986. Doi: 10.1177/2041669516686986.
Email: David.Alais [at] sydney.edu.au