Competition between auditory and visual spatial cues during visual task performance

Thomas Koelewijn*, Adelbert Bronkhorst, Jan Theeuwes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


There is debate in the crossmodal cueing literature as to whether capture of visual attention by means of sound is a fully automatic process. Recent studies show that when visual attention is endogenously focused sound still captures attention. The current study investigated whether there is interaction between exogenous auditory and visual capture. Participants preformed an orthogonal cueing task, in which, the visual target was preceded by both a peripheral visual and auditory cue. When both cues were presented at chance level, visual and auditory capture was observed. However, when the validity of the visual cue was increased to 80% only visual capture and no auditory capture was observed. Furthermore, a highly predictive (80% valid) auditory cue was not able to prevent visual capture. These results demonstrate that crossmodal auditory capture does not occur when a competing predictive visual event is presented and is therefore not a fully automatic process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-602
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009

Cite this