Irrelevant auditory and tactile signals interact with the visual target onset and modulate saccade latencies, not visual signals


  • Vidal Manuel
  • Desantis Andrea
  • Madelain Laurent


  • Auditory
  • Visual
  • Tactile
  • Multisensory
  • Temporal binding
  • Saccades
  • Eye-movements

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Saccadic eye movements bring events of interest to the center of the retina, enabling 11 detailed visual analysis. This study explored whether irrelevant auditory (experiments A, B & F), visual 12 (C & D) or tactile signals (E & F) delivered around the onset of a visual target modulates saccade 13 latency. Participants were instructed to execute a quick saccade toward a target stepping left or right 14 from a fixation position. We observed an interaction between auditory beeps or tactile vibrations 15 and the oculomotor reaction that included two components: a warning effect resulting in faster 16 saccades when the signal and the target were presented simultaneously; and a modulation effect 17 with shorter-or longer-latencies when auditory and tactile signals were delivered before-or after 18-the target onset. Combining both modalities only increased the modulation effect to a limited 19 extent, pointing to a saturation of the multisensory interaction with the motor control. Interestingly, 20 irrelevant visual stimuli (black background or isoluminant noise stripes in peripheral vision, flashed 21 for 10 ms) increased saccade latency whether they were presented just before or after target onset. 22 The lack of latency reduction with visual signals suggests that the modulation observed in the 23 auditory and tactile experiments was not related to priming effects but rather to low-level audio-and 24 tactile-visual integration. The increase in saccade latency observed with irrelevant visual stimuli is 25 discussed in relation to saccadic inhibition. Our results demonstrate that signals conveying no 26 information regarding where and when a visual target would appear modulate saccadic reactivity, 27 much like in multisensory temporal binding, but only when these signals come from a different 28 modality. 29

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