The effects of multisensory targets on saccadic trajectory deviations: eliminating age differences

Exp Brain Res. 2010 Mar;201(3):385-92. doi: 10.1007/s00221-009-2045-5. Epub 2009 Oct 23.


The present study had two aims. First, to determine if bimodal audio-visual targets allow for greater inhibition of visual distractors, which in turn may lead to greater saccadic trajectory deviations away from those distractors. Second, to determine if bimodal targets can reduce age differences in the ability to generate deviations away, as older adults tend to benefit more from multisensory integration than younger adults. The results show that bimodal targets produced larger deviations away than unimodal targets, but only when the distractor preceded the target, and this effect was comparable across age groups. Furthermore, in contrast to previous research, older adults in this study showed similar deviations away from distractors to those of younger adults. These findings suggest that age differences in the production of trajectory deviations away are not inevitable and that multisensory integration may be an important means for increasing top-down inhibition of irrelevant distraction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Executive Function / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology
  • Young Adult