Auditory and audiovisual inhibition of return.
Spence C., Driver J.
Two experiments examined any inhibition-of-return (IOR) effects from auditory cues and from preceding auditory targets upon reaction times (RTs) for detecting subsequent auditory targets. Auditory RT was delayed if the preceding auditory cue was on the same side as the target, but was unaffected by the location of the auditory target from the preceding trial, suggesting that response inhibition for the cue may have produced its effects. By contrast, visual detection RT was inhibited by the ipsilateral presentation of a visual target on the preceding trial. In a third experiment, targets could be unpredictably auditory or visual, and no peripheral cues intervened. Both auditory and visual detection RTs were now delayed following an ipsilateral versus contralateral target in either modality on the preceding trial, even when eye position was monitored to ensure central fixation throughout. These data suggest that auditory target-target IOR arises only when target modality is unpredictable. They also provide the first unequivocal evidence for cross-modal IOR, since, unlike other recent studies (e.g., Reuter-Lorenz, Jha, & Rosenquist, 1996; Tassinari & Berlucchi, 1995; Tassinari & Campara, 1996), the present cross-modal effects cannot be explained in terms of response inhibition for the cue. The results are discussed in relation to neurophysiological studies and audiovisual links in saccade programming.