Saccades create similar mislocalizations in visual and auditory space

J Neurophysiol. 2016 Apr;115(4):2237-45. doi: 10.1152/jn.00853.2014. Epub 2016 Feb 17.


Orienting our eyes to a light, a sound, or a touch occurs effortlessly, despite the fact that sound and touch have to be converted from head- and body-based coordinates to eye-based coordinates to do so. We asked whether the oculomotor representation is also used for localization of sounds even when there is no saccade to the sound source. To address this, we examined whether saccades introduced similar errors of localization judgments for both visual and auditory stimuli. Sixteen subjects indicated the direction of a visual or auditory apparent motion seen or heard between two targets presented either during fixation or straddling a saccade. Compared with the fixation baseline, saccades introduced errors in direction judgments for both visual and auditory stimuli: in both cases, apparent motion judgments were biased in direction of the saccade. These saccade-induced effects across modalities give rise to the possibility of shared, cross-modal location coding for perception and action.

Keywords: auditory localization; eye movements; multisensory processing; remapping; spatial perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Saccades*
  • Sound Localization*
  • Space Perception*
  • Visual Perception*