Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 221, Issue 4, pp 377–384 | Cite as

Non-lateralized auditory input enhances averaged vectors in the oculomotor system

  • N. Van der StoepEmail author
  • T. C. W. Nijboer
  • S. Van der Stigchel
Research Article


The decision about which location should be the goal of the next eye movement is known to be determined by the interaction between auditory and visual input. This interaction can be explained by the vector theory that states that each element (either visual or auditory) in a scene evokes a vector in the oculomotor system. These vectors determine the direction in which the eye movement is initiated. Because auditory input is lateralized and localizable in most studies, it is currently unclear how non-lateralized auditory input interacts with the vectors evoked by visual input. In the current study, we investigated the influence of a non-lateralized auditory non-target on saccade accuracy (saccade angle deviation from the target) and latency in a single-target condition in Experiment 1 and a double-target condition in Experiment 2. The visual targets in Experiment 2 were positioned in such a way that saccades on average landed in between the two targets (i.e., a global effect). There was no effect of the auditory input on saccade accuracy in the single-target condition, but auditory input did influence saccade accuracy in the double-target condition. In both experiments, saccade latency increased when auditory input accompanied the visual target(s). Together, these findings show that non-lateralized auditory input enhances all vectors evoked by visual input. The results will be discussed in terms of their possible neural substrates.


Saccade Accuracy Vector Averaging Oculomotor Superior colliculus 



This research was funded by two grants from NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research): grant 451-09-019 to SvdS and grant 451-10-013 to TCWN.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Van der Stoep
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. C. W. Nijboer
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Van der Stigchel
    • 1
  1. 1.Experimental Psychology, Helmholtz InstituteUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity Medical Center Utrecht and Rehabilitation Center De HoogstraatUtrechtThe Netherlands

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