Scientists studying brain process involved in sight have found the visual cortex also uses information gleaned from the ears as well as the eyes when viewing the world.
They suggest this auditory input enables the visual system to predict incoming information and could confer a survival advantage.
Professor Lars Muckli, of the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow, who led the research, said: “Sounds create visual imagery, mental images, and automatic projections.
“So, for example, if you are in a street and you hear the sound of an approaching motorbike, you expect to see a motorbike coming around the corner. If it turned out to be a horse, you’d be very surprised.”