Multisensory saccade generation

Richard Amlôt and Robin Walker

in The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199539789
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Multisensory saccade generation

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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Studies of saccadic eye movements have greatly informed our understanding of the processes involved in selection for action. As the primary function of saccades is to direct the fovea onto an object of interest there has been a natural tendency to regard them as a visually-guided behaviour. Saccades can, however, be directed to an auditory or even a somatosensory stimulus and combinations of stimuli in crossmodal situations. Neurophysiological studies have shown that neurons in structures such as the superior colliculus, involved in saccade-target selection and generation, respond to visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli. Combinations of stimuli can produce neural interaction effects depending on the spatial and temporal relationship between the stimuli. A number of studies have examined the behavioural consequences of crossmodal stimulus configurations on saccades and these will be reviewed in this chapter.

Keywords: saccadic eye movements; visual behaviour; multisensory effects; neurophysiological evidence; saccade generation

Article.  8863 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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