Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology

On the Role of Eye Movements and Saccade Preparation in Generating Auditory Inhibition of Return

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology

On the Role of Eye Movements and Saccade Preparation in Generating Auditory Inhibition of Return

Article excerpt

Abstract In three experiments, listeners were required to either localize or identify the second of two successive sounds. The first sound (the cue) and the second sound (the target) could originate from either the same or different locations, and the interval between the onsets of the two sounds (Stimulus Onset Asynchrony, SOA) was varied. Sounds were presented out of visual range at 135 azimuth left or right. In Experiment 1, localization responses were made more quickly at 100 ms SOA when the target sounded from the same location as the cue (ie., a facilitative effect), and at 700 ms SOA when the target and cue sounded from different locations (ie., an inhibitory effect). In Experiments 2 and 3, listeners were required to monitor visual information presented directly in front of them at the same time as the auditory cue and target were presented behind them. These two experiments differed in that in order to perform the visual task accurately in Experiment 3, eye movements to visual stimuli were required. In both experiments, a transition from facilitation at a brief SOA to inhibition at a longer Son was observed for the auditory task. Taken together these results suggest that locationbased auditory IOR is not dependent on either eye movements or saccade programming to sound locations.

Many investigations of visual selective attention have been founded on a simple priming paradigm in which an observer is presented with two stimuli in succession. The first of these events is usually labelled the cue and the second is usually labelled the target. The time required to detect or identify the target as a function of the relation (usually spatial) between the cue and target is measured (e.g., Posner, 1978). Such studies have shown that whereas at brief intervals between the onset of the cue and the onset of the target (stimulus onset asynchrony or SOA) performance is better when the target is presented in the same location as the preceding cue (i.e., a "repeat" trial), at more lengthy intervals performance is better when the target is presented in a different location from that of the cue (i.e., a "change" trial). This transition as a function of SOA from an advantage for repeat trials (i.e., a facilitative effect) to an advantage for change trials (i.e., an inhibitory effect), and which has been reported by a number of investigators (e.g., Law, Pratt & Abrams, 1995; Maylor, 1985; Maylor & Hockey, 1985; Posner & Cohen, 1984; Posner, Rafal, Choate, & Vaughn, 1985; Tipper, Driver, & Weaver, 1991; Tipper, Weaver, Jerreat, & Burak, 1994), has been labelled inhibition of return (IOR).

The conditions under which visual IOR might be obtained has been the subject of considerable empirical interest (e.g., Gibson & Egeth, 1994a,b; Lupianez, Milan, Tornay, Madrid, & Tudela, 1997). Of particular relevance to us in this paper is that several authors have argued that the occurrence of visual IOR is intimately related to the eye movement system (e.g., Rafal, Egly, & Rhodes, 1994; Sapir, Soroker, Berger, & Henik, 1999). This proposal has been supported not only by the results of basic cognitive experiments (e.g., Posner et al., 1985), but also by neuropsychological evidence showing that inhibitory cueing effects are reduced or eliminated by degeneration of, or damage to, the superior colliculus (e.g., Rafal & Henik, 1994).

Although it has only relatively recently garnered empirical interest, the phenomenon of auditory IOR has now been demonstrated both when the location relation (e.g., Mondor, Breau, & Milliken, 1998; Reuter-Lorenz, Jha, & Rosenquist, 1996; Schmidt, 1996) and when the frequency relation (Mondor & Breau, 1999; Mondor et al., 1998) between a cue and target is manipulated. Thus, whereas at brief SOAs listeners more. quickly respond to targets presented in the same location or that are of the same frequency as a preceding cue, at more lengthy SOAs the reverse is apparent and targets that differ from the preceding cue in either location or frequency are responded to most quickly. …

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