Cross-modal links in exogenous covert spatial orienting between touch, audition, and vision.
Spence C., Nicholls ME., Gillespie N., Driver J.
Three experiments investigated cross-modal links between touch, audition, and vision in the control of covert exogenous orienting. In the first two experiments, participants made speeded discrimination responses (continuous vs. pulsed) for tactile targets presented randomly to the index finger of either hand. Targets were preceded at a variable stimulus onset asynchrony (150, 200, or 300 msec) by a spatially uninformative cue that was either auditory (Experiment 1) or visual (Experiment 2) on the same or opposite side as the tactile target. Tactile discriminations were more rapid and accurate when cue and target occurred on the same side, revealing cross-modal covert orienting. In Experiment 3, spatially uninformative tactile cues were presented prior to randomly intermingled auditory and visual targets requiring an elevation discrimination response (up vs. down). Responses were significantly faster for targets in both modalities when presented ipsilateral to the tactile cue. These findings demonstrate that the peripheral presentation of spatially uninformative auditory and visual cues produces cross-modal orienting that affects touch, and that tactile cues can also produce cross-modal covert orienting that affects audition and vision.