Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 708–714 | Cite as

Exogenous orienting of crossmodal attention in 3-D space: Support for a depth-aware crossmodal attentional system

  • Nathan Van der StoepEmail author
  • Tanja C. W. Nijboer
  • Stefan Van der Stigchel
Brief Report


The aim of the present study was to investigate exogenous crossmodal orienting of attention in three-dimensional (3-D) space. Most studies in which the orienting of attention has been examined in 3-D space concerned either exogenous intramodal or endogenous crossmodal attention. Evidence for exogenous crossmodal orienting of attention in depth is lacking. Endogenous and exogenous attention are behaviorally different, suggesting that they are two different mechanisms. We used the orthogonal spatial-cueing paradigm and presented auditory exogenous cues at one of four possible locations in near or far space before the onset of a visual target. Cues could be presented at the same (valid) or at a different (invalid) depth from the target (radial validity), and on the same (valid) or on a different (invalid) side (horizontal validity), whereas we blocked the depth at which visual targets were presented. Next to an overall validity effect (valid RTs < invalid RTs) in horizontal space, we observed an interaction between the horizontal and radial validity of the cue: The horizontal validity effect was present only when the cue and the target were presented at the same depth. No horizontal validity effect was observed when the cue and the target were presented at different depths. These results suggest that exogenous crossmodal attention is “depth-aware,” and they are discussed in the context of the supramodal hypothesis of attention.


Cueing Exogenous Orthogonal Space 3-D Attention 


Author Note

The authors thank Jesse Smit, Marieke Janssen, and Jorinde Duits for their assistance in collecting data. This research was funded by two grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research: Grant Nos. 451-09-019 (to S.V.d.S.) and 451-10-013 (to T.C.W.N.).


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan Van der Stoep
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tanja C. W. Nijboer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefan Van der Stigchel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Psychology, Helmholtz InstituteUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Brain Center Rudolf Magnus and Center of Excellence for Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity Medical Center Utrecht and De Hoogstraat RehabilitationUtrechtThe Netherlands

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