The perceived final position of a moving object usually seems to be displaced in the direction of motion. This displacement effect, termed representational momentum, has been reported for both visual and acoustic targets. This study investigated whether representational momentum in the auditory modality depends on oculomotor behavior during target presentation. In a dark anechoic environment, subjects localized the final position of a horizontally moving acoustic target (continuous noise) by using a hand pointer. Subjects were instructed to pursue the acoustic target with their eyes, to maintain central gaze direction, or to fixate a central visual fixation point. Forward displacements of the perceived final target position occurred irrespective of the eye-movement condition. This result is not consistent with previous findings in the visual modality indicating a reduction of forward displacement for continuously moving targets with fixation. It is suggested that factors other than oculomotor behavior are the source of representational momentum in spatial hearing.
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The author wishes to thank Peter Dillmann for preparing software and electronic equipment, and Timothy Hubbard, Jörg Lewald, and one anonymous reviewer for valuable comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
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