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Bobby Innes

Photo of Bobby Innes

We constantly encounter sensory signals in different modalities (e.g. visual, auditory, and tactile). Sometimes events are signalled in only one modality, and other times multiple signals in different modalities inform us about the same event simultaneously. For example, an incoming call can be signalled in any of these modalities alone (a unisensory signal) or by some combination (a multisensory signal). Multisensory signals, however, produce behavioural benefits such as faster response times (RTs).

Mathematical models can help us understand how these benefits arise. A recent model of multisensory decision-making states that the RT benefit size for multisensory signals corresponds to the variability in the RTs to the component unisensory signals. In my PhD research, therefore, I work with behavioural tasks, aiming to identify and measure sources of variability in RTs. These might include, for instance, randomness in the signals presented, changes in decision-making across time, and variability of the motor component of the response. I hope to identify which variability sources are the most important contributors to multisensory RT benefits, which eventually will allow us to better control and improve our responses to meaningful signals.  

I am supervised by Dr. Thomas Otto and funded by the BBSRC EastBio Doctoral Training Partnership.