Audiovisual distractors interfere with the correct programming of a saccade to a target. In this new study, we show that bimodal distractors evoke stronger oculomotor competition compared to unimodal distractors. We developed an elegant setup in which visual and auditory stimuli could be presented in spatial and temporal alignment to explore the influence of visual, auditory and audiovisual distractors on eye movements. We show that Close audiovisual distractors cause deviation towards the distractor while Remote audiovisual distractors cause deviation away from the distractor. These bimodal distractors cause interference even when the unimodal distractor in the same location does not influence the saccade endpoint or the saccade trajectory. Together, these findings show that bimodality enhances the oculomotor vector and that the interference by multisensory input is stronger compared to unisensory input.
Heeman, J., Nijboer, C.W., Van der Stoep, N., Theeuwes, J., Van der Stigchel, S. (in press). Oculomotor interference of bimodal distractors. Vision Research.